Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Walk Away Renee

One of my favorite songs. A friend at work, who is also sort of obsessed with the song, told me today that if you get it stuck in your head, you could get it out by singing [I actually cannot remember the name of the song but it was sung by Peter, Paul and Mary, and also by Rod Stewart]. I am not trying to remember the name of the song he suggested, because, really, why would anyone want to get "Walk Away Renee" out of one's head?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Insomniac Lite Utopia

I am an insomniac, lite. I sleep at least 5 hours most nights, more than 6 many nights, and usually am not awake when the alarm goes off the first time. I get up one, two, or sometimes more times per night, and frequently don't fall back to sleep for a while.

I know this is "lite" because I deal with insomniacs all the time who tell me that don't fall asleep for two hours, or they sleep two hours a night or even, "not at all". I don't believe anyone who tells me he, or usually she, sleeps not at all, but I think some do believe it themselves, and believing you don't sleep at all would have to be almost as bad as really not sleeping at all.

For us lite-weights in the insomnia department, the seeming uselessness of time spent trying to do something you can't do by trying is the worst of it, that and the wondering if you'll make some awful mistake the next day because of the shortage of REM or Stage Four or whatever it is you're missing. Unlike saints and artists, I cannot seem to use the opportunity to let my mind travel the mystic spaces, pray, or create with my mentally free bed time. So I've wondered why I don't follow the advice I give to my patients about getting up if they're not asleep in 30 to 60 minutes and doing something with that time.

I think it is this: Getting up is cold and uncomfortable and I think that maybe waiting another five minutes will put me where I want to be, that is, unconscious.

So I have a little project in mind. It goes like this. Instead of just a bed in the next room, I put an armchair and a floor lamp. I put a blanket or a fat robe next to it, and a stack of books of poems or essays or ancient saints' writings so I can't get caught up in any plot. And a basket of yarn and a crochet hook or two. And a legal pad with two or three colors of pens, so that anything I want to remember or think about later, I write down. The things it shouldn't have would be food, or medical literature, or a computer (in any form). I haven't decided about my faux-pod or music; might need to experiment with that. My hope is that, if I do this, I won't feel the time I spend awake is such a waste of time. Maybe I'll even wake up disappointed occasionally that I got such a good night's rest that I didn't get any reading or crocheting or writing done.

Nah, probably not.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Writer's Block and the Pedestrian

This evening on the way home from our Christmas busyness, I heard a songwriter say that writer's block is a bourgeois luxury. He said if you have nothing to write about it's because you aren't paying attention. Every object in the world is singular and important and a worthy source of inspiration, he said. I'm pretty sure I'm mangling what he so eloquently said, but I took it as a reasonable challenge. The next object I looked at was one of those wordless yellow diamond signs, the one with a generic human being walking, that lets you know that pedestrians might be about. That guy is leaning into it, walking with purpose, maybe about to break into a run. And I realize I've been thinking about walking a lot in the past 24 hours.

This is mostly because of the Christmas Day ER trip we made last night, when my mom fell down on my sister's front walk after merely going out to the sidewalk to look the lit-up Christmas house. Walking outdoors is for my mom, beginning her 9th decade, a challenge, a risk, and although I obviously wouldn't want her to give it up, potentially life-threatening. I've been thinking about why it has become so, how to make it less so, what are the elements in walking that seem automatic but that have to be taken down and analyzed and fixed when they get broken. I want to figure out how to see her walk again with some of the boldness and dynamism that guy on the Pedestrian Xing sign displays.

Then there was the comment my son made when I (sounding pompous, surely) described a certain novelist's writing as "what critics might call 'pedestrian'". He wondered if that was fair to pedestrians. He's right. Pedestrians are good guys, responsible planet-savers, in touch with the air around them. Walking is good, at all times, except when the situation calls for running, or stopping still to listen or look. It is the opposite of what tired writing is. It is a huge piece of what makes humans human. I'm not going to use that term for lousy writing anymore.

I say it again: Walking is good. It is immense among our blessings, not to be taken for granted, an aid to thought, prayer, and friendship. And probably to writing.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Poetry Night

My church dinner group (used to be called Bible study group, but when the person who actually liked to lead Bible studies moved away, so did studying the Bible, so we try to be honest about it and call ourselves "dinner group") meets for potluck supper one or two Saturday nights a month. I think some of our most memorable get-togethers have had a theme, so I suggested last time that we each bring a poem. My recollection is that they treated the suggestion less than seriously, so I was surprised when two members of the group, the newest two, brought poems. Dave brought a sort of rap he had written about a wilderness camping trip, really impressive for a 40-something white dad. (Really.) And Marj brought a politically corrected version of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" that was funny and scanned beautifully. It drives me crazy when a rhythm-and-rhyme poem is careless about the meter, unless of course it is Ogden Nash, who butchered meter and would make one line ten syllables long and the next forty-five syllables long and got away with it by virtue of wit.

Realizing they had taken me seriously, I ran to the car and pulled out my William Stafford collection and read "The Way It Is", and "Easter". And some other anti-war poem whose title I forget. I get excited about this stuff, but I don't expect anyone else to. And except when I read something in church and people ask me how they can get a copy of it, I can't tell if anyone else gets excited about this particular way of playing with words (Bill Moyers' phrase, I think, not mine). I love reading a few lines or a long trail of lines that make me go, "Mm," and read it again. And I love sharing it. But I'm not sure which of you are going, "Wow, yeah," and which of you are just thinking "Well, yes, isn't that nice, dear?"

I'm giving up my subscription to Rolling Stone this year, and I'd love to replace it with something more edifyng. If I knew someone who would like it, I'd be sorely tempted to take Poetry magazine up on its two-subscriptions-for-the-price-of-one offer.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tree...

After actually considering not getting a tree this year, we went up in the near freezing drizzle today to the usual place in the hills near town, slogged through the red mud, cut down a Grand fir, paid the poor guy whose only customers we were at that hour $20, and took it home and dragged the messy beast into the house. We planted it in our heavy-duty tree stand made from the top of an old milk can welded onto a base that is forever threatening to leak. It went easier than usual from my perspective, although I am not the one wielding the hacksaw, nor twisting the socket wrench while lying on the hard tile under the tree. I picked a nine-footer because I once again forgot that we were putting it in the dining room which has an eight-foot ceiling instead of the living room which has a nine-foot-plus ceiling. This tree is big, as have been all our trees for the 23 Christmases we have lived in this little bungalow. One year we bought an eight-foot tree for the nine-foot-plus room and one of our children, who will remain unnamed, cried. It just wasn't enough tree.

Not having a tree didn't seem right, despite the possibility that the kids would not be home while it's up this year (we are planning to spend Christmas in Seattle, and didn't want them to drive in the opposite direction for just Christmas Eve), and despite the fact that we seldom have company in at Christmas (a fact of which I am considerably ashamed, but a fact still). I realized that something I loved is gone for me if we go completely green and spiritual at Christmas, giving only to charities in the names of those we love, and pondering only the true meaning of Christmas, narrowly construed, to the exclusion of all the things that I looked forward to as a child, and as the mother of small children.

Make no mistake: I don't like the rush, and I do love the mystery of God's descent to us, best expressed for me in the song "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence." But I also do like the tree decorated with all those old ornaments and a few new ones I pick up each year at One Fair World and its ilk. And I do like giving and receiving presents, especially when they show each other that we've been listening and hearing something someone else might have missed. And I really like finding something in a store for someone I wasn't necessarily planning on giving a gift to at all, and getting it for them. And the cherry walnut bars and the M&M cookies. And flashy, flashing sweaters--on others--and the absurd 17-billion watt yard lights in that one house down on Fir Villa Road. If I get none of that, I feel sad. Too much, and I feel frantic.

Here's to a perfect mix for all of you. Oh, and here's that song:

Let all mortal flesh keep silence
And with fear and trembling stand.
Ponder nothing earthly-minded,
For with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descendeth
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords in human vesture
In the body and the blood,
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank, the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way
As the Light of lights descendeth
From the realms of endless day
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At his feet the six-winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the Presence
As with ceaseless voice they cry,
Alleluia, Alleleluia,
Alleluia, Lord most high.

Monday, December 7, 2009

If you only read one book this Advent...

I am reading a book that I will not wait until I finish to recommend to you. I read about it in the Oregonian a few weeks back, where the reviewer sort of guaranteed you would not finish it without wanting to do something about it. After reading a hundred pages, I would be worried about anyone who does not want to do something about it.

Half the Sky is by husband and wife journalists Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, and is about the varied plights of millions and millions of the world's women, and the horrors they face simply because they are women, and the greater horror that much of what they suffer is not even considered worthy of the notice of their communities and the wider world...because they are women. I suppose I should not tell you this, because it will probably put you off from reading it, and I really don't want anyone not to read it.

Extremely well-written, and never boring, it has lots of heroic stories about women overcoming victimhood as trafficked sexual slaves and rape survivors (rape is a systematic form of terrorism/war weapon in many places, and a way of acquiring a wife you can't afford in other places, and a way of punishing a man or a boy in a girl's family for something the man is thought to have done in other places). But it also deals with other issues, and is just now getting into the problem of maternal mortality.

Their main thesis seems to be, of course, that the world needs to act as a matter of morality, but also that the world's economic and terrorism problems will not be solved without elevating the situations specifically of women and girls in the world. But they also have loads of information on what works to do this. Please get hold of this book and let me know what you decide to do with it. I'll let you know what I decide, too.

One interesting aside in the book is the fact that research shows that people will give more readily and generously to something that they are told will help just one child than to something they are told will help eight, or millions. Generosity is personal, apparently. Generous friends, all--check out this book.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Things I love right now

William Stafford, especially his title poem from "The Way It Is".
Denison Farms Harvest Boxes.
The colors of my children's hair.
A beautiful pair of eyebrows on anyone.
The woodstove.
The Swell Season's new album, and the poem, "Strict Joy", that its title comes from.
Very dark fair trade chocolate (as close as you can come to eating chocolate with a clear conscience).
The medical assistants at my office, every one of them.
The smell of my husband's face at bedtime.
One Fair World (this is its third name, after Self-Help Crafts and Ten Thousand Villages, so that I am tempted to call it Ten Thousand and One Fair Worlds of Craft or some similar permutation).
"Play With Your Food" calendars.
Orange rising moons.
Sourdough bread, the sourer the better.
The winter sun.
"And the Glory of the Lord" from "Messiah". Because altos lead, and because it is the best.
Singing with the Lindas.
Singing with Mennonites in general.

Friday, November 27, 2009

When you've got nothing to say...

I know what happens to bloggers who don't blog for a while; they lose their two or three regular readers. (Actually, if it's me who's your regular reader, it's likely to take me two or three months to believe you're not coming back. Hope dies hard.) But I'm kind of a believer in not speaking if you've got nothing to say.

This is something I hope I remember if Channel 12 news puts a microphone in my face some day and asks me for my reaction to a crime in my neighborhood. I have noticed that in the "If it bleeds, it leads" world of late-evening news, locals and bystanders are often asked to comment; they usually say something like "I've always thought this was a safe neighborhood....He was quiet, kept to himself, I had no idea he was capable of this....My kids play with the kids who live three doors down from there....I walk by here all the time, you just never know." It's hard to blame the man on the street for having nothing to contribute to the story but talking anyway; after all if the news guys are asking you to say something, you must have something to say, right? But we have to stop encouraging Channel 12 and its siblings. I hope if I am ever asked to comment when my next door neighbor sets fire to the warehouse down the street, I say, "I pray for mercy on everyone involved," or, "I wish I'd known him better, maybe I could have kept this from happening,", or maybe better still, "How could you possibly think my reaction is news?"

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Why I Should Quit My Job and Write for Women's Magazines

I don't chew out my patients much, but this is one thing they get yelled at for: Taking "innocent" overdoses of (especially over-the-counter) meds. By innocent I mean, they don't intend to kill themselves, or even necessarily to get off into some blissful state. They just decide if two Tylenol isn't helping much, then maybe four will do the trick, and maybe every two or three hours instead of every four to six. I march those people right over to the lab--after a brief raking over the coals--to draw their blood STAT and make sure they are not about to die. They act like "What? It's just Tylenol!" which just happens to be the number two (or is it number one now?) cause of acute liver failure/need for liver transplant in the U.S. these days.

Want to knock out your kidneys or bleed to death? Help yourself to extra Advil (ibuprofen) for a few days. Want to see what Reye Syndrome looks like? Give your child Excedrin Migraine, which contains aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine, in flu season. By the way, we're likely to be in a perpetual flu season for the foreseeable future, so please, just don't do it! Read labels, and if you want to depart from their advice in any way, consider taking less, not more. I mean, it, people. You want to see me mad?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rhythm of the Rain: Three thoughts

One: Rain and shine have chased each other back and forth across the sky the past few days. I'll leave for work in the rain and arrive in bright sun, shortly thereafter to look out into a downpour, then go see a couple of patients and come back to find one of one of my all-time favorite sights out my office window: A blue-black sky before me and all the trees between me and the blue-black sky lit up like fire.

Two: I've always loved the sound of pounding rain at night while I'm wrapped in my sheets and comforter, but that sound is bittersweet in recent years as I can no longer hear it without thinking of people who don't have the luxury of their own bed on a rainy night.

Three: And then there is the way the rain conspires to mess with my fragile exercise habits. I cannot bring myself to go out for a run in more than a light shower, but if I leave the house on dry pavement and it starts to rain within two to four blocks, I complete the whole 3+ miles without looking back. My friend Susan is a very talented amateur meteorologist who can actually read a satellite picture on the web and determine whether we will be rained on withing the next hour, so we don't have to miss our Sunday walk, just alter it a bit.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Warning: A very shallow, peevish post

A number of years ago I began to notice bare legs where I didn't expect to find them. The first time it struck me I was in a mall and saw a group of girls dressed for what I think must have been a winter formal. One was in a blue sparkly thing, very cute, but I commented to my daughter that she was wearing no pantyhose and her legs were starkly white. It looked like an odd oversight, but I was informed that it was in fact not. Over the years I've realized that neutral legwear has disappeared from the fashionable: Everyone is either bare or in boots or in opaque tights or colored (usually black) or patterned stockings. It doesn't bother me that all these options are available, but it does bother me that you can't wear the neutrals anymore. I thought maybe I was just imagining this, and then yesterday on the "What Not to Wear" website it was confirmed by the authorities: If you want to wear pantyhose, they can't look like your real legs only better.

That was the virtue of good old L'Eggs. Your own legs only better and a little warmer. It feels like I've been robbed, and/or the victim of a conspiracy against women my age who just don't look or feel good in bare legs in winter. And most of whom can't afford a huge wardrobe of boots and tights (the average life of a pair of which is about 3 wearings). Or the "shapewear" that you'd have to buy to replace the little bit of smoothing the $4 pantyhose did just fine.

I know, the obvious solution is for this natural-born dress wearer to switch to all-pants-all-winter or just to get over wanting to keep up with it at all. But it seems so unfair, and I want to know who is responsible and how I can get the rules changed.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I got my arm injected with the new stuff this week. We received about 200 doses and between our staff and our pregnant patients we just about used it up. No, I didn't get the shot in the butt, and it didn't hurt any more than the seasonal flu shot (which it shouldn't, since it's made in the same way and given in the same way). But I'm on call this weekend, and the phone never stops ringing for long. Taking calls from worried parents with sick kids doesn't bother me much; that is why I get paid the medium bucks. What troubles me is that this bug seems to be changing the rules that we've worked so hard to adhere to, and that our patients have come to accept, that is, the rules about confirming a diagnosis to some extent before throwing medicine at it, and being conservative about using that medicine, to avoid teaching the bugs how to resist it.

The CDC wants us to strongly consider prescribing Tamiflu or Relenza to patients "at increased risk of complications" without examining them if they have fever and respiratory symptoms. That risk group includes all pregnant women, children before age 2, and people with common chronic health problems (think asthma, diabetes, heart disease) that make suffering through the flu more dangerous. I am prescribing according to those recommendations, because I think it'll save lives this year, but wonder what this practice will do to the long-term usefulness of the very few anti-virals that work for flu. Already Tamiflu no longer works on seasonal ("regular") flu. But we weigh this against the slow output of vaccine, and the value of keeping sick people out of waiting rooms and emergency departments, which are full of people who shouldn't be exposed to coughing/sneezing flu victims, and the danger of this illness to some young people, and this is where we are, treating people with a phone call.

For the record, I've been exposed to lots of this crud, and I'm fine, as are all my fellow providers. I think this is one wonderful case where being old is a good thing. (If any of you reading this can think of other such cases, I'm always looking for things to be thankful for.) Also, if you are one of the many who thinks animation and viruses are a natural match, check out http://www.npr.org/health and scroll down to "Flu Attack! How a Virus Invades Your Body". It is creepy but cool.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


It is odd what can make a birthday good. I expected little of this one. No one at work knew, as far as I knew. I wasn't sure my husband would remember, and I was tempted to test him on that by not saying anything. When that thought occurred to me, I realized how wicked that would be and reminded him just so I couldn't play that little game. This morning, facing the usual grueling day at work, I told myself that I would not dare the world to neglect me and then be mad at the world for it, but would just try to practice my gratitude.

That is not why it was a good day. There were just lots of little gifts in it. Merlin made me a hot breakfast. A tough little patient who has always cried whenever I came near her decided I was not that bad today. A patient who really needed to go the the crisis center didn't fight me on the point. I took a lunch break (yeah, really!) with a friend. A patient on my (very behind) schedule who looked like she was having a stroke wasn't, and her own nurse practitioner recognized what was going on stepped in and calmed the situation. I got to sing with friends at the end of the day. Granted that the singing was preparation for a memorial service for someone I wish weren't gone, it was still a privilege to be asked to do it, and a joy to do it. And then, another hot meal at 10 p.m., wrapped up with apple cake fresh out of the oven with lemon sauce.

And eight or ten friends from all different corners of my life, if a life can have eight or ten corners, wished me a happy birthday on facebook. I know that's paltry by some standards, but I feel pretty rich right now.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I've had two friends go there in the last month, and it's made me think about that kingdom differently. It is easy to think of heaven as where old people we love sit around having tea and cookies and wait for us to show up. Today I remembered that my ninety-something in-laws and aunts who crossed over in the past few years aren't old anymore. Hard to know what they are like now, but not old, I bet.

It all occurred to me as some fallen walnuts crunched under my feet as I walked down the street in the rain. The crunch of nuts on the sidewalk is one of the fine pleasures of living in this world in this season. I wondered if our young friend Grant who just died suddenly four days ago would miss that feeling or look back on it as nothing compared to the pleasures of the kingdom we were made for. Probably neither, exactly. I suspect that the pleasures of life on earth will be seen in a new and brighter light and will actually be greater in the remembering of them than they were in the experience of them. Maybe. Of course, I think that in heaven if we want to crunch nuts under our feet, we'll get to. Please, this is not being flip. It just becomes more necessary to think about the next phase as more people I know move into it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fly-by-night blogger tries again

I cannot multi-task. A friend--was it you, Susan?--told me about someone who cannot read without something on TV to watch at the same time. That's nuts. I am trying to listen to Pandora (right now, the Decemberists are on the Neko Case station; I don't think I'll ever learn to like Mr. Meloy's voice, but I like his songs) and write this at the same time, and can barely do it. Music is not really background to anything that takes up cortex for me. And music is for singing along with, or at least for humming a harmony to. Or escaping inside of.

I can sometimes sign prescription refills while on hold (that's right, being on hold is a task for me, maybe because there is music to sing along with). I can listen to NPR and do dishes. I can sort of drive and drink coffee, although that's iffy. But talk on the phone and check facebook? Give advice and take notes? Sing and blog? Not so much.

Of some comfort is research that shows no one is really good at multi-tasking. Most people just don't know it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

NPR 50 Great Voices

Not that anyone is reading this, but if you do, there is one week left to nominate the best voice you've ever heard, or several of them, on the NPR website. I only nominated two (Alison Kraus and Ray Charles), but it made me think of other voices that have taken me away over the years.

As a little kid, I loved Doris Day. (That's right, and I'm not embarrassed about it.) I loved, and still love, Ella Fitzgerald. My mom let me have her vinyl Ella albums, Ella sings Gershwin, and Ella Sings the Rodgers (Rogers?) and Hart Songbook. My mom's record collection, by the way, is why I know a lot of songs you don't--we were not wealthy, but that is where the fun money went. She was very eclectic.

I liked what everyone else liked in high school. In college, James Taylor, Elton John, and Neil Young. I could sing just like Neil, probably still can, as his range is my range and he's very imitable. Now, Natalie Mains and Alison are the voices I'm guilty of envying. And anyone who sings in Portuguese.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A man cried on the phone with me today. I called to give him a little good news, and he said he just couldn't care, because his child had cut off his contact with his grandchildren. He apologized for breaking down, but what else could he do? What worse thing can you do to anyone than to take away, by any means, all contact with someone they love? There isn't anything sadder.

A woman called me last month just to say she was stumped over what to do with her husband who is drinking himself into an early grave while her son is deployed in that other hemisphere. She had to know I wouldn't know what to do, but just wanted to tell me. Two of the three great loves of her life are in peril, and each far from her in one way or the other.

My brother-in-law's wife took their children to another country and has kept them there for 10 years. He's seen them twice in that time. He hasn't grown to love them less. He hasn't grown used to it. I don't know how he stands up under it. God has made him amazingly tough, but he's always in crisis.

Guess I think we should take every chance to love the ones we love, and be the best friends we can be to those bereft because of war, craziness, meanness, booze, or the plain old mortality that parts us all in time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I renew my license along with the other credentials attached to it every two years in October. You have to present a list of all the education you have acquired in the intervening two years (which must total at least 100 hours, which seems eminently reasonable to me), but it seems that every two years they add something that you didn't have to do the last time. So that every two years, no matter how many hours I have racked up, I am in suspense as to whether they will find me wanting, and come down on me with their wrath, and strip me of my only way to make a living. No matter that I've done this five times now, and they have always just said, "Yes, fine, here's your license," I still expect to have the board of nursing show up on my doorstep and say, "Ma'am, we need to speak to you about this alleged course in bio-identical hormones, and by the way, are you sure you gave an honest answer to this question about any mental health conditions that might affect your ability to practice?" It came in the mail Saturday, along with that same familiar sense of relief.

Monday, October 5, 2009


No one at work is out to get me. My friends are not catty. My husband makes supper for us most worknights. He is healthy. So are my kids. They support themselves, and when they come for the weekend it is a good weekend. Both sides of our family love us. I can hear. My bifocals work. The only pain I have I can avoid by not lying on my right shoulder. I have a very cute car but not a very cool car, so I never worry about it getting stolen. I get out of work after dark 6+ months of the year to a deserted parking lot, and haven't been mugged once. I don't like running (after the first 4 blocks), but I can do it, and I can make myself do it even though I don't like it. I have a fortunate metabolism. I go to a very kind-hearted Mennonite church where they help me keep believing, as do lots of other people. No one I love seems to be addicted to anything. God looks after my patients. I still have a mom. I am just so grateful, and not nearly grateful enough.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Those Blasted Curly Lightbulbs

I actually hope someone will set me straight on this. I hate energy-saving lightbulbs, and I was thrilled to find that the one over our staircase had finally burned out. My theory about them has been that they don't ever burn out. They are like that imaginary trip across the street where each step is half as long as the last, and so you never arrive. The bulbs simply burn more and more dimly with each passing year and never really get to the place where you can say it's burnt out and throw it away. Which is good for the environment, because, as far as I know, those bulbs are very toxic and have to be disposed of like nuclear waste, in a sealed bag, at a secret site in a city you don't live in. Am I wrong? I read about this as recently as a couple of years ago when we were getting Consumer Reports. Nevertheless, the upside of having one burn out is that you get to replace it with one with decent candlepower.

And then my personal handyman went to replace it, and it turns out to have been the fixture, not the bulb. So my theory is intact, and the thrill is gone.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Is This Thing Working?

Tonight we are going to a potluck. We are lazy potluckers, or, in my case, maybe too egotistical to want to trot out my best stuff only to be obscured or eclipsed by other people's best stuff, or maybe even by their less-than-best. So we always take brownies, with something extra thrown in, like chocolate chips, mint chips, raspberries or cherries from the yard, etc. Today I am thinking of going down to the hardware store and buying a variety of local apples from the vendors in the parking lot and just taking the beautiful apples (with the brownies, but not in the brownies). Lazy, see?

I am happy about Rio de Janeiro being chosen for the 2016 Olympics, my being a fan of the Obamas notwithstanding. I really do think the president wasted his international capital on this one. Not sure if Rio is really deserving; it is pretty weird and crime-ridden, although, as God really does love and look after fools, we suffered no victimization there on our brief sojourn last year. But it is Rio, and exotic, and loveable in its way; I really hope the poor of the city benefit and don't suffer in the rush to be Olympian. And I will watch as much of the games as I can (though I will be really, really old then), hoping to see something of the streets we wandered through on my one and only visit to Brazil. Obrigada, IOOC!