Monday, November 30, 2015

The Effortless Absurdist

"Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer Is Much Faster)" by Dave Barry   G.P.Putnam's   225 pages   $26.95

An absurdist (to me) is someone that can take ordinary items and quickly make you peal with laughter with their use/presentation in a sentence or paragraph.  Example:  Barry on women's bathing suits on Rio beaches -  the size of eye patches for mice. 

During a delve into why Americans hate soccer, he delivers the following:

"Despite the fact that nothing ever happens,  the fans spend the entire game jumping up and down like prairie dogs on cocaine..."

The players are foreign and "They sport haircuts that were apparently administered by a blind heroin addict in the mens' room of a Bulgarian disco in 1978."

Still laughing?  Me, too, and I had to type it!  There is no shortage of Barry books to amuse you - I think this one is number 26 or 27.  At the bookstore buy two - one to read now (such as this one) and one against a rainy winter day. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Would You Wish a Mother Like This On Your Own Worst Enemy?

"The Book of Joan" by Melissa Rivers   Crown Archtype   284 pages   $26

The title Joan is, of course, the late Joan Rivers.   I and my colleagues (Crazy Suzanne, Louise the Tease, Patty the Lawyer, Don the Lawyer, My Brother George and the Georgia Peach) all had a nodding acquaintance with her back in the day when she was trying out new routines at the Little Club (? - a small theatre) across Beverly Drive from our clubhouse Maison Gerard.  

We could only take short spells in the audience because the signature line she was using at the time irritated us greatly.  She would pipe in a voice so high-pitched that bats flew away in terror, using a heavy New Yawk accent, "Kin we tawk?" about every 3.5 seconds.  Wearing.

However she matured as most of the rest of us did and I became quite a fan.  Comes now a book about her from the insider of all time - her daughter.  Her dating advice to said daughter prompted my title.  

Briefly:  
Never pick up the check.  You have the vagina, he has the wallet; he pays.

Let him open the door for you.  If he doesn't and leaves you standing in the street, get a cab and go home.  If he'll leave you in the street, he'll leave you for another woman.

Never carry condoms.  That's his responsibility.  You won't look like a Girl Scout but like a prostitute who's always at the Free Clinic.

A last tidbit of  tender motherly advice?  Pussy pulls the freight train.      

Saturday, November 28, 2015

"Fooding" - As If We Haven't Eaten Enough

Bon Appetit arrived yesterday and nothing really appealed other than their version of an Egg McMuffin which I re-christened: 

The Bacon Grease Special
Cook bacon in a large skillet.  Remove bacon and some of the bacon grease.  Take a slice of bread and using a water glass (diameter your choice) press out a hole in the bread.  Put the slice of bread in the bacon grease and start it browning.  Carefully break an egg into the hole and let both cook.

When you figure the egg is done on that side, carefully flip the whole mess over to cook the raw side.  When this has being accomplished, lay a slice of cheese across it - I'd use Velveeta as it melts quickest - and turn off the burner.  Let the cheese melt as the egg finishes, plate it and garnish with bacon strips across the top.  Eat.  And you know it's going to be good because it's got bacon grease!  I didn't say Good FOR you.  Pay attention here. 

"Picnic in Provence, A Memoir With Recipes" by Elizabeth Bard  368 pages  $26
A winsome little story with inedible recipes for foods I don't like.  However for sheer ease of accomplishment, I did like this and we are coming up on Christmas treats - as gifts or just house bounty. 

These are called "Mendiants" (beggars) and are easy enough that a dullard like myself can make them. 

1 lb. best possible chocolate - you want minimum 70% cacao and Trader Joe's carries it.  Carefully melt it and pour it on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in little rounds.  Only make a few little circles at a time as you are going to be sticking at least three of the following into the warm chocolate and it will harden or set quickly.

Possibilities:

Traditional in France -
Chopped dried figs, dark or golden raisins, blanched almonds, whole hazelnuts.

Making it up as you go - chopped dried apricots
Chopped candied orange, lemon or grapefruit peel
Candied ginger
Walnuts
Dried cherries or cranberries

Making it is even easier.  After you've chosen your garnishes, put them in small piles so that you can run an assembly line of sorts.  This might be a good thing for a child to help you with - assign each kid a particular item to press into the chocolate.   Wash their hands yourself to make sure they are clean.  Little kids are ambulating germ factories.   
   


Friday, November 27, 2015

More Tidbits

Yesterday, Jay Simpson. a fellow Thurs. Writer, sent a very timely reminder to us all.  If you didn't see it (or forgot to do it) it's not too late to set your scales back 10 lbs. this morning. 

Ports Report
Many of you already know that one of my favorite outings is the Sunday all you can drink free champagne brunch at Ports O Call, on the water in San Pedro.  They also do it on Thanksgiving and that's where Richie and Raffish and self spent a good part of the afternoon (2 1/2 hours to be exact.) 

Despite having reservations, I was concerned that there would be so many people there that it would take half an hour just to get to the food layout.  Such was not the case.  Staff was expecting 600 guests yesterday, but apparently they all come in the late afternoon as there were several empty tables around us.   Thus we didn't feel guilty taking our time eating and going back for a little of this and perhaps a bite or two of that...

I debuted the transporter wheelchair as food tray with great success.  Open it, put your napkin on the seat with the plate on top and push it around, lifting the plate to serve yourself, then putting it back on the seat and going on to the next food station.    You're welcome!   

Black Friday seems to be something of a dud so far - no one trampled at the doors and subsequently hospitalized (or buried.)  No screaming, hair-pulling fights among the  women (and certain of the men) shopping...

Much is made of Feed the Homeless! on Thanksgiving Day but I have to wonder about two things:
1.  Is that the only nice meal they get all year round?
2.  Do they not get the treasured leftover sandwiches the rest of us love?

A good one is:  white "air bread" (aka WonderBread( slathered with mayonnaise, layered with white meat turkey, spread-out dressing with a grind of black pepper and a kiss of cranberry sauce (optional.)  Put the other slice of air bread on top and squish the whole thing down to one-third its height and eat.  Air bread is the critical factor in my estimation. 

AND LASTLY - A BOLD NEW THIEF
They are seasonal and they are called Porch Package Thieves.  Apparently the season has started for them.  Local police are looking for a woman who was driving slowly, spotted a UPS box on a porch, stopped, approached the house and rang the doorbell.  No answer so she picked up the package, got back in her car and drove away.  

If you are waiting for a delivery and can't be home, ask a neighbor who can see your porch to bring it in to their house immediately.  

Our UPS guy is thoughtful enough to put anything for us (if we don't answer) on the back step below the porch level.  It's then invisible from the street.     

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Paraphrasing Another Author

Thanksgiving was lauded in Annie's Mailbox, an Aunt Agony column in the Daily Breeze, by this column which I propose to update?  Paraphrase?  a little.  I would credit the author, but it is that bestselling-writer Anonymous. 

"Things To Be Grateful For"  This is grammatically incorrect as we all know never to end a sentence with a preposition.

Be thankful for snug clothing; it means you are well-fed.  (snort) Nice try, Fatso.

Be thankful for the mess you pick up after a party at your house.  It means you have lots of friends.  None of whom have the decency or class to pick up after themselves.

Be thankful if your home needs repairs because it means you have a home.   Tell that to the Community Watchdogs who are NIMBY Nazis. 

Be thankful that you hear people complain about "the government"  because we all have free speech.    However all of the special little snowflakes protesting at universities and colleges about "being mistreated" are not exactly holding the ends of that banner as they all seem to feel they require (not need) special treatment.  Bitch slap it if it shows up for dinner.  That's the real world, a place they've clearly never visited.

Personally, our annual toast is:  We can't choose our families, but we can damned well choose our friends!  Bottoms up! 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING - MAY YOUR TURKEY BE MOIST, PLENTY OF GRAVY AND YOUR FOOTBALL TEAM WINS.





Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bits & Pieces as the Day Goes Along

President Obama has called for us to discuss guns and presumably gun laws over our plates at the Thanksgiving Eat-O-Rama.   This is not a good idea for any gathering of my family - they'd pull them out and show them!  And then go out in the yard for a target shooting contest.  As alcohol is always involved at these events, you do see my point. 

Unlikely Beauty Pageants
(source:  DailyNews.co.uk)  Talavera Bruce maximum security prison, Rio, is having their annual beauty pageant.  The purpose is said to be to "raise their self-esteem and humanize them."  Toward that end, a 31 year old drug trafficking prisoner remarked that it was her first opportunity to meet her 10 months' old grandchild.

On my own, I discovered that Recife, Brazil, has a similar contest and last year's winner was a 19 year old murderess.

Nairobi, Kenya offers as a prize the opportunity to learn how to apply make-up as a leg up for job hunting on release.  Unfortunately, the winner was a death row inmate. 

A Thanksgiving Toast
"We can't choose our families, but we can, by God, choose our friends!"

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Accidentally Beating Out Black Friday

Not that we ever "took advantage" of Black Friday anyhow.  Around here, if you need something (or think you do) you go out and buy it.  Which can make Christmas present shopping a real bear but that's another story for another season. 

Yesterday we happened to be in the neighborhood of the local La-Z-Boy showroom and since Richie needs a new recliner  - "Thanks, cats - having the same chair for 30 years wasn't good enough for you?" -  we went in.  There were acres of the damned things and Richie turned into Goldilocks and test sat in every one of them. 

He settled upon an oxblood leather that swivels and rocks like a porch swing as well as goes nearly flat.  Sensationally comfortable.  When we finally looked at the price, a little item we hadn't bothered with previously, we were somewhat confused.  The regular price was shown with a line through it and the sale price listed, but on top of all of this was additional information - take 25% off of the sale price - which explained the "cheat sheet" pricing info sheet the clerk had handed us, making mention of Black Friday.  

Since it was Monday, we grinned at each other.  There were only two other shoppers in the whole store!  No crowds!  And the price was considerably lower.  We snapped it up and one is being delivered on Saturday.  The day after Fred the Cat goes to the vet to have his nails clipped.    

But I got to wondering about the La-Z-Boy history since they seem to have been around all of my life (and I'm 75.) 

Back in 1928 a pair of cousins in Monroe, MI. got together - Ed the woodworker and Ed the farmer - and created the original out of orange crates designed to be a porch swing.  In time, they added upholstery making it a "year around chair."   The fledgling corporation had a contest to name it and La-Z-Boy won.   I couldn't find the winner's name so that part will linger in the mists of time. 

And in future mists of time, we'll have to replace it - but never on a Black Friday if we can get there on a Monday!

Monday, November 23, 2015

And the Mafia Gets Into It

Source:  the Drudge Report

Giovanni Gambiano, Jr. has warned IS that they are on guard to protect New Yorkers.  Gambiano noted that the Mafia neighborhoods with their Sicilian populations are protected because "We always take care of our families."  It was pointed out that there have, to date, been no terrorist attacks in Siciliy.

I tell you, every day is a sunny one for people who appreciate the funny side of life.  I can hardly wait to get to the news every morning.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

This'n That

I wrote Michelle, cancelling our visit until perhaps February.  Here is her reply:  You are right.  It's a good decision to delay your trip till February although I am missing you.  It worried me to know you were traveling in such a bad international situation.


H/T to Doug Vermillion, of Anderson, IN.

Six Arabic countries are making it very difficult for Syrian refugees to relocate to them.  They are:
Bahrain
Kuwait
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Jordan and Lebanon have about 2 million refugees between them. 

source:   Time magazine

A New and Useful Site
Checking to see if Air France flights from Paris into the US had been cancelled as was reported to me, I came across   FlightAware.com    which lists airlines I didn't even know existed as to cancellation and delays.   Based on information gathered here, the sky is full of airplanes!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Paris Cancelled and Other Tidbits

Paris - the world for that matter - is just too unsettled to be visiting at this moment. 

Two Air France flights were diverted in US air the other day for bomb scares; yesterday a flight from Paris to San Francisco made a U-turn over the English channel and landed safely back at Charles De Gaulle airport.  The word was that ALL US-bound flights were cancelled by Air France for that day.  

We're ticketed on Air France.   

As much as I love France, I don't want to live there  right now - we'd miss our cats and the bird.  Perhaps in February - the tix are good until March, 2o16.


Ivory Tower Assholes

Today's winner is one Bruce Ackerman, Yale professor of law and political science, who has gotten his knickers knotted up to his patrician little nose.  The cause of his disquiet?

First paragraph:  "In calling for a war against Islamic State, French President Francoise Hollande is engaging in a tragically counter-productive enterprise. Under international law "war" can only exist between sovereign states.   Hollande is rashly giving  Islamic State precisely what it wants - legal representation."

I printed this in full because I am just not creative enough to make up shit like the above.  

 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Terror Tidbits

An online poster:  (blurred photo of Bataclan nightclub floor with bodies)

     Celebrating Diversity
  One Massacre at a Time

----------------------

Michelle wrote that the First Minister advised residents that the terrorists have access to sarin, the deadly gas and not to be surprised if she meets us with green hair and no teeth.

I replied that here we have green, purple, orange  hair -- by choice!  And in contrast to sarin, our best counter offer would have to be anthrax in an envelope in the mail which is a very limited kill rate, at best.

----------------------

Re Religion
Organized religion is responsible for more wars in world history than any other thing.

What kind of a "religion" asks you to kill every one else who doesn't believe in your religion?  This seems rather counter productive to me ...

-------------------------

Terrorists are not the crispest cookies in the box - when they try to blow up an airplane in mid-flight, they are expecting  a minimum of number of people on that particular aircraft.  Now, if they detonated the plane at the gate, think of the kill rate they could get.

----------------------------

Syrian "refugees"

Would you welcome a complete stranger into your home? 

America is OUR home; don't even think about it. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

See the Postcards Before We Even Leave Town!

Michelle suggested that we go north (from her house) to a variety of beach towns...so "jette une regarde" as the French say - "Throw a look to"-  these towns - Deauville - once the haunt of the chic during the Belle Epoch, the days of courtesans and their excesses (milk or champagne baths, for example) and rivalries as well as who was supporting whom and everyone knew all about all of the above. 

St. Malo has an aquarium that bears a look - we are both fascinated by them and since this is an area that specializes in seafood, we should get a look at dinner in the wild, so to speak.  Gambas (prawns or enormous shrimp) and lobsters won't be getting pre-condolences from me. 

Mont St. Michele hardly needs an introduction; the image of a walled town rising above the sea is etched on memories world-wide.   From what I've been reading though, it sounds like the journey is more interesting than the destination. 

This is the area that is also known for its production of cider (cidre) an alcoholic beverage that substitutes for a quick beer.  Calvados is a distillation and provides the dinner booster that, for example, Thanksgiving Day dinner makes useful.  Known as the "trou Normande" or Normandy hole, a shot of it at the end of dinner and the drinker can go back and eat dinner all over again.   Not particularly helpful to the dieter, but to the gourmand?  A lifesaver!

I had romantically thought I would like to explore the town of Giverney, Monet's village, to walk the cobblestoned streets and peer into shop windows that might have been there in his day but when I read "a commune of 400 people" and tourisme extraordinaire surrounding Monet, I said the hell with it.  There's a gift shop at his house (as well as a cafĂ©) and we've been there. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Under Construction

Inapired by information hitherto unknown about a dear friend, I decided to occasionally run a new feature to be called "Interesting People."

With this caveat:  everyone alive today has some kind of story that sets them apart and makes that story "something interesting."    Part of the story:  He is today and has been for a number of years my and then our financial planner.  Who also, incidentally drove one of the landing vehicles onto the beach on D-Day.

Unfortunately, my printer has gone on strike and the e's back and forth, telling these interesting stories are Just Sitting There in Saved Mail. 

But at least you have an idea what's coming down the road. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

From Our French Correspondent

Michelle and Bruno were in their homes in  Le Chesnay, a Paris suburb, next door to Versailles.  Their son, our godson, was in Bretagne.  All safe and accounted for and happily so were all of their friends.

Some of our correspondence this morning (11/14/15)

Michelle:  "It's hard to explain in English how we feel today.  KO like after a boxing fight.  Everybody seems in self communion.   It's quiet as if the time just stopped.  Just downcast by what happened. 

You probably are thinking:  "Are we going  or not to Paris?"  Well I won't be offended if you cancel your travel.

If you come we will not go shopping in Paris or go for a walk there.  We will stay in Versailles and the area which is safer.

I assured her that I've seen Paris and I don't want it to be the last thing I ever see and she wrote back,  "We can go to Deauville,  Mont St. Michele, St. Malo - no terrorists there."

Depending on events to come, we're going.  Rather pointless to take off if the airport is gone.  A thought that is doubtful at best.  Hollande isn't kidding around and neither is any airline that serves France. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Anticipation - A Little Quiver in the Air

The Sothern California climate has changed to what it should have been all of this month -- lower temperatures.  People almost everywhere else are already accustomed to cool days and even cooler (read:  cold) nights.

The other morning, it was 62 in the house and 48 out in the backyard (and probably elsewhere as well.)  ((Just whoofin'))

And what changes have I personally, seen with my very own eyes?  Our three cats are a lot livelier.  There is more of spring to their prance; they are staying awake longer than usually before starting their morning naps.  They seek out the living room chairs that get the morning sun - and bask.  

Lady Bird, the cockatiel, calls to be uncovered earlier and as it gets cooler, I'll be watching to see if this trend continues.  

Even I, cynic and desperado that I am, find that I'm generally in a very good mood these days and I put it down to this - having grown up in the midWest where they actually have four seasons - I know that cooler weather heralds THANKSGIVING, the annual gathering of like souls and some damned fine eating.  

As if that wasn't enough to put a spring in the old stride, CHRISTMAS PARTIES are right behind.   To get a "good" date (after 12/15) you need to be organized.   The South Bay Writers Workshop (better known as Thurs. Writers) Christmas potluck just got scheduled for Thurs. 12/17.   One of the members has passed out fliers to her 'do on the 12th. 

Yes!  Parties!  Bring it on!  We've all got warm clothes and in this season, warmer hearts.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Breaking News

Wed., Nov. 11, 2015

We drove past the Target on Sepulveda, Manhattan Beach, at about 1:30 p.m. and were surprised to see:  cop cars parked slantwise across all of the driveways in to the store (even one from Hawthorne and we NEVER see Hawthorne over here) as well as fire trucks from El Segundo.   All blocking off the parking lot.

As we wondered, the light changed and we drove on to Ralph's the supermarket.  In the check out line at slightly after 2 p.m. the customer in front of us told the checkout clerk it was a bomb threat.

I immediately bet that the caller, who spoke to an employee, making the threat was a former disgruntled employee.  It only makes sense, right?  What has Target ever done to anyone?

We'll have to wait until tomorrow's morning paper to see. 

OUTCOME - nothing at all.  Sniffer dogs fouond nothing; store re-opened around 3:30 p.m. 

And in other news, what was the ending on the vehicular chase of a woman who was apparently winging right along, taking out parked cars here and there while talking on the phone!  Can you imagine the next Verizon or AT&T commercial?  (background audio - faint sound of sirens)    "Never lose your connection - no matter what!"  (siren sound rises; voice on bullhorn "Pull over to the side and stop.")

"Happy" Veterans' day?

Bluntly, this is a day we celebrate dead people.  I can't think that they are happy to be dead.

I think any "happiness" about this day is the fact that we live in a country where men and women choose to go to war for the rest of us. 

That is the thing we should be celebrating.  And in that spirit, HAPPY VETERANS DAY.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Meme Busting

I had to look up "meme" which is a word I've often heard used, but was never exactly sure what meaning was intended.  This morning I learned it is a form of passing information from one person to another which may or may not be true.  Urban legend comes to mind.

Very well.  Now we all know. 

The meme I've heard all my life is:  Republicans are just a bunch of fat cats, interested only in protecting themselves and their fellow rich cronies (love the word "cronies") but conversely, the Democrats are veritable saints on earth, protecting the rights and fortunes of the poor.

Now I have no objection whatsoever to protecting what is one's own, the things one might have sweated and strained to obtain.  Conversely, I rather resent the idea that someone else (Democrats) would try to usurp my ownership and use my money to aid in their saintliness.

Call me cranky.  But, comes now, this information (via the LA Times,  11/8/15.)
California sends 55people to Congress.  Of those 55,  20 are millionaires.  Of the 20, 16 are Democrats and four are Republicans. 

Hmmm - so much for the time-worn meme. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tidbits

I read this morning that today is the Reverend Billy Graham's 97th birthday.  And mused for several minutes on why 97 seems really old to me whereas 100 doesn't.  Is it because in the 90s one is hoping to hit 100?  And once you get there, you don't have to try anymore?  You made it?

A (Minor) Discovery
You can pull a wheelchair like a mule pulls a wagon.  It was an incidental discovery in that I was using the wheelchair as a book cart at the library and wheeled into the elevator face first.   There were others on board, so at our floor, I turned me and pulled.  Worked a charm.

Friday, November 6, 2015

$100 Million - And Still No Takers!

Architectural Digest arrived yesterday and one of the full-page ads is offering "Sycamore Valley Ranch" formerly Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch for $100 million.  Sotheby's has the listing and they should be ashamed of themselves. 

Clearly no one is that interested in living in a pederast's home since it has been on the market since 2012.  Defiantly, the price has always been the same and you see what it's gotten Sotheby's - zip.

The sale price includes 2,600 acres, but, alas, Google as I might, I couldn't get the specs one usually does - number of bedrooms, baths, special attractions (fireplaces, solar-heated pool, etc.)

I can tell you that I wouldn't pay 100 pennies to even tour the place.  Jackson should have been buried upside down as an expression of DISrespect. 

During all the foo-foo-roo surrounding his death, we disembarked to visit Michelle in Paris and when the Custom's guy asked me the purpose of the trip - "Business or pleasure?" I replied, "To escape Michael Jackson!"  and he roared, stamped my passport and said, "Bonne chance!".

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Gadfly or Grump - You Decide!

Daily Breeze, 11/5/2015

Not many grocery options in some beach cities

Re:  "Grocers have it rough in Southern California" (Nov.. 2)

Dear Sirs:

Grocers have it rough in Southern California.  Maybe so, but the Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach shoppers have little choice.  Vons.  That's not much competition.

Sincerely,
Richie W. Murphy

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Would You Make/Eat These?

Admittedly, one of the reasons I subscribe to Bon Appetite is to be awed and amused by some of the things the editors propose we eat.  Not every month's issue comes through for us but the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner issue did.

We all know not to put the snacks in the kitchen where we're working; most guests know to at least volunteer with clean up; how to make lump-less gravy (use a whisk.)  Further tidbits - ask first if you can bring a dish and if so, bring it in a serving dish - don't make the host/hostess have to scramble to find one.   Odds are their own dish cabinets are empty.

Thanksgiving doesn't change much as we can see from the above.  And thank God it hasn't - I'm still making my Mother's menu and one of the items is the ubiquitous Green Beans and Mushroom Soup and Durkee's Onion Rings, served on the side from the container.  They get soggy otherwise.   "Tacky" some say (including my sister)  but "home" to me.  And that's what the day should mean, no matter how far away one is from it.

However, this recipe has nothing to do with what came before it - CURED EGG YOLKS.

When you've made an angel food cake or over-served Ramos gin fizzes, here's an idea from chef Christopher Kostow, of  St. Helena, CA.

Make a bed of:    1 3/4 cups kosher salt and 1 1/4 cups sugar, mixed, and use the back of a big spoon to make indentations in it.

Carefully place 4 egg yolks in the indentations, sprinkle leftover mix across them, wrap dish in plastic and store in the refrigerator for 4 days.

Then take them out, rinse under cold water, pat dry with paper towels and put them softly on a well greased rack in a larger pan.  Oven to 150  until the egg yolks dry to the consistency of a firm cheese and let cool.  If your oven won't go that low, leave them in the cold oven for two days.

Now you've got them - what to do with them?  Grate them as a finishing touch on asparagus, shave over white bean crostini, crumble over steamed vegetables or add to broth for more body. 

Overkill - shave over fried or boiled eggs. 

 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Swiss Army Knife of Travel

No, you can't take knives on planes.   Don't get all giddy here.  The title was just a reference to something called "practicality."

And that would be the "transport wheelchair" we got at the onset of all of my troubles walking due to the hip surgeries. 

What is a transport wheelchair you ask?  Well, it is much lighter than a regular wheelchair as it is an aluminum frame with canvas slings for the seat and back.  The biggest difference is the wheel size.  It has (estimated) 6 in. vs. the 2 and 1/2  ft. found on a regular.  There is no way  you can propel yourself by wheeling it - someone else has to push you.  Yeah, I'm not as dumb as I look, hah!

However, you can fold up the foot rests and use your feet to propel you along in an emergency.  Your charred ashes will not be found due to whoever is pushing you taking off like a rat.

Why am I rambling on about this today?  Because we are (finally) going to Paris to see Michelle, my best friend.  Being more than slightly over-confident than I need to be, I thought I could do it all, using just my cane.   After all, half the time it's not touching the sidewalk as I walk and  rarely used  in the house. 

But then I got to remembering our other visits to Paris and the vast distances we covered.  Richie seems to have one gear for walking - start and just keep going.  This is unacceptable to me now.  About every three blocks, I know I would start whining, "I need to sit down!  Paris sidewalks are obstacle courses, dammit!" 

So I bit the bullet.  Advantages:   we don't have to bother Air France for a sidewalk to gate ride.  You get to the gate in your own and when it's time to board, they switch you to an aisle wheelchair ( very narrow one  - sort of like sliced wheelchair) and stow your own on board. 

This is a good thing as down in Baggage, the loaders would undoubtedly be gleefully trying to destroy the wheels.   

I am very comfortable pushing the empty chair.  I will also enjoy its supermarket cart aspect - shopping bags on the seat!  There are a great many things to buy in Paris.   Good gifts include various-sized tins of pate, wines,  perfumes --are clunky not to mention heavy. 

Empty chair = posh walker.
Empty chair = shopping cart.
Empty chair = weapon to part the hordes.
And I'll always have a place to sit down!

 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Proposing a New National Holiday

Admittedly this idea came from a long-standing tradition in another country.  That would be the British celebration on December 26th called "Boxing Day."  For years, I wondered why they all got up and put on boxing gloves and apparently spent the day duking it out.

Brits are different - madly eccentric say many.  "Eccentric" is the polite description of "barking mad"  over there and another example of the exquisite tact of our friends Across the Pond. 

Boxing Day is the day that envelopes of cash or treats were boxed up for the servants (for whom Christmas was just another working day.)

My idea has nothing to do with Christmas or boxing.  It comes much earlier in the calendar year; November 1st to be specific, the day after Halloween.

Trick or Treaters are an uncertain quantity around here -- several years ago, our street (three blocks long) had school buses bringing them in.  Yesterday we had one group of six kids and no one else. 

This kind of uncertainty means we either have to buy out Smart & Final Iris or Target bags of candy or turn off the porch light and hide in the backs of our own homes. 

Richie traditionally over buys because, "What if the school buses come back?"  (They haven't in nearly 20 years.)

Today we have a generous supply of individually-wrapped mini-bars.  I already have a generous supply of cellulite and really, I need no more. 

Thus was born the annual, national day event that I would call

GET THIS STUFF OUT OF MY HOUSE!  DAY 

Invite people - family, friends, neighbors in the same situation (candy glut) -  to an  Exchange Party and start the wheeling and dealing.  Any monies offered in bidding wars could be donated to a charity such as Put the Teeth Back in Our Kids Mouths.

Word:  to ADA members (dentists) we know what you look like - don't crash our GET THIS STUFF OUT OF MY HOUSE! DAY  We have ways of dealing with you.