Certainty of death, no chance for survival

Thanksgiving night we watched the final episode of the Lord of the Rings as we ate the crab and potato salad.  When the trilogy first debuted, our home was where stockings were opened Christmas morning and then we all walked down to the Art Deco theater at the bottom of the hill to watch whatever had just released.  

We began this Xmas tradition in 1983 with The Christmas Story, a low budget picture that was not expected to do well at the box office and is now a holiday classic. We’d had a rough year and that movie was the perfect distraction.

The next year was even worse.  After a failed attempt at merriment, we hiked down the hill to watch Ghostbusters. 

I can’t remember all the movies we saw in the ensuing years. Generally silly flicks. None were able to make us laugh until we cried. None were as cathartic as the first two. 

By the way, who’s your favorite character in Ghostbusters?  Mine’s the wise-cracking receptionist played by Annie Potts. I love that gal.

To my teenage friends and I, the book The Lord of The Rings was the holy gospel of Middle Earth. It was where we were meant to be and not the Reno High School biology lab dissecting frogs. We’d heard about the analogies to WWII and the Nazis, but had no real understanding of the horrors of concentration camps or the ability of power to leech the soul from a human being. We just wanted to escape the mundanity of our lives.

Now LOTR seems like a warning and is too close to comfort to exit the theater refreshed.  I think we’ll see a comedy instead.  Any suggestions?

Grateful for breathable air

In large cities you are immediately reminded that there are doors you will never enter unless you are wealthy or service the wealthy in some way or another. 

The above house (on Manhattan’s East Side) was for sale but guess what? No open house was scheduled. Rats. No peek into the Lifestyles of Rich and Famous for me. Here in honor of Norm Frampton’s ThursdayDoor event is another door I’ll never enter.

Below is a picture of a peculiar and apparently abandoned structure in another borough of NYC. Any guesses as to what it is?

 

Here’s a clue: It’s in the same park as the fountain below. 

Flushing Meadows, in the borough of Queens, is a world away from the east side of Manhattan. On the day we visited it was packed with families. On every field, soccer, baseball, cricket, and volleyball players either practiced or competed against each other as family members and friends watched.  Even in mid October, kayakers paddled around the small lakes taking selfies. They were mostly people from third world countries who will probably never be able to buy that house on the east side of Manhattan but they have their families and their community.  Today is Thanksgiving here in the United States. In California we are all thankful for the rain.  Our view has gone from smokey grey:


To cloudy grey. But the air has moved out of “hazardous” purple to a moderate orange.  It will be awhile before we are in the green of healthy air but we will never take fresh and healthy air for granted. Nor will I complain about the high cost of roof repairs.  At least I have a roof.

 

And of course I am thankful for you. Whether you come by once or every time I post, I am thankful for you.

 

 

Giant Turkey Caravan Headed For US Border

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Thanksgiving, turkeys, caravan, humor, Modern PhilosopherI don’t want to be a fear monger, Modern Philosophers, but I need to warn you that there is another huge caravan headed towards the U.S. border.

This one, however, is heading north through Maine on its way to Canada.

And this caravan is not made up of migrants fleeing persecution, criminals fleeing prosecution, or terrorists looking to enter the country without detection.

In fact, there are no humans at all in this caravan.

It’s made up entirely of turkeys.

Thousands of them.

The caravan crossed into Maine yesterday, and is making a bee line for the border with Canada.  When asked about the parade of northbound turkeys, Maine Governor Paul LePage stated: “As long as they aren’t hurting anyone, I could care less.  My term is almost over, and I don’t need the headache.”

Maine State Police and the Maine Warden Service have been monitoring the caravan’s progress, and…

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In Flander’s Fields

Today is the 11th day of the 11th month on which we celebrate the ending of the war to end all wars. I don’t think a lot of people really understand how that war (WWI) began. I certainly don’t.  Something about the assassination of an archduke. Today it honors all veterans from all those other wars that weren’t supposed to happen.

Armistice Day means red poppies. If you’re out and about you may run into a veteran selling them. This traditional started with a poem.

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

McCrae was a Canadian doctor who, legend has it, wrote the poem from the back of an ambulance. Poppies leech the blood from battlefields and in the spring, cover the ground with a sea of red. A sight to see indeed, if not such a stark reminder.

My grandfather did not die in France; he returned to his family and lived a long life.The wounds he suffered were not visible to the naked eye. And he didn’t talk about them.

I’m actually quite mortified that a bit of rain has kept a president of the United States from attending ceremonies honoring the fallen of WWI.  It didn’t stop the troops from fighting and losing their lives. Shame on him. 

 

Voting from the Great Beyond

I haven’t been posting lately because I’ve been trying to finish the latest incarnation of Flipka into which I’ve rolled a sequel. Will the sequel answer many reader questions? I don’t know.  Will it be less wacky than the first of which one reviewer wrote:

 

The wacky, utterly unbelievable plot is, however, merely the vehicle for JT Twissel to demonstrate her enviable skill set.

All I can say is, I tried. But how can I write “believable” plots set in a state that elects dead pimps to govern? By a landslide, I might add. 

 

Meet your new legislature Nevada!

Was the other candidate so terrible that the fine citizens of Pahrump are going dig up a corpse and send it to the Nevada legislature?

 

According to this tweet, Dennis Hof, who wrote The Art of the Pimp and was known as the Trump of Pahrump, is going to vote from the “great beyond.”

I know Republicans in Nevada got massacred tonight, but my man Dennis Hof crushed his opponent from the great beyond in AD-36 & we crushed the anti-brothel initiative in Lyon County by about 80%. So pardon me, but I’m celebrating.

Fictional whores celebrating their dead pimp’s glorious victory!

I know those tea party folks have a few wacky ideas, like believing that Donald Trump is the second coming of Jesus Christ, but do they really think the Nevada legislature is going to allow a ghost to vote?  And, how am I going to fit this twist into one of the unbelievable plots of which I am so enviably skilled?

 

#ThursdayDoors: Halifax NS

For one of the oldest cities in Canada, Halifax NS has a remarkably young and energetic vibe. 

People don’t seem rushed or anxious to be first in line. If you step off a curb, cars stop and wait patiently for you to cross the street.  Of course, we lucked onto beautiful weather.

Like Montreal, it is a city for walking with a mixture of old architecture and new.

The old Town Clock was getting a facelift.

And tourists flocked to watch the hourly changing of the guard at the fortress (Citadel) on top of the hill.

It’s not quite as formal as its namesake ceremony at Buckingham Palace, as you can see.  Of course, the fellow above is not a soldier, he’s a docent.

The Citadel was never attacked although they were prepared. Below is the entrance to a zigzag of foxholes.Aside from wandering around the streets, we did visit the Immigration Museum where I found out my ancestors came to Canada before there was such a thing as immigration.

They just appeared on early census records listing their birthplaces as Ireland.  And here I always thought they were Scottish.  Right now I’m miffed at them for ever leaving Canada.

Check out other doors over at Norm’s Place! 

Car Eighteen Where Are you?

Don’t you just hate it when you’re not as smart as you think? Or that you were smart but too late in the game.  Or you just plain weren’t smart at all.  I’m talking about the overnight train from Montreal to Halifax in “renaissance” cars with old world charm, three course meals, and wine and cheese tastings in the afternoon.  The one with the observation car available only to the sleeper class passengers where you can enjoy panoramic vistas  of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  The train with the friendly staff who will regale you with local folklore. Yes, that undiscovered gem I was so smart to have stumbled upon.

You can probably guess the moral of this story. Googling “unique vacations” is going to get you to the same URL as three billion people also searching for a unique vacation.

In our case, we were joined by a group of about sixty party hardy retirees from Minneapolis. Relax and enjoy the countryside?  Hell no. The scene on board reminded me of the geriatric version of the movie Some Like it Hot.

 

Compounding the raucousness of the trip, the aisles in the sleeper cars (all eighteen of them) were so narrow that if you were heading toward the dining car (at the front of train) you would have to wait at the end of a car for the aisles to be clear or hop into a stranger’s cabin when confronted by someone going the opposite direction. But what am I saying? 

There are no strangers on a party train.  At times one group would confront another halfway down an aisle and flip coins as to who should back up and let the others pass. It was like being part of an eighteen hour conga line and guess which car we were in?  Yup, the eighteenth car.

Would I do it again?  Yes. Nova Scotia via train is spectacular although it’s not easy to get good pictures so you’ll have to take my word for it!