I’m glad it didn’t try to shake hands.

Those are the words I jotted down recently knowing at the time exactly what they referred to. Key words being “at the time.” Now? Not a clue. I do know, these words followed other words, that of “jaunty poo” and “foam” of which I do remember the origin and hope to expand upon at some point. Was I perhaps glad that the jaunty poo didn’t try to shake hands? Must’ve been it.


Good golly, I love breakamafast. So much in fact, it needs more syllables just to contain all the good. Made some eggs this morning similar to these from last week. A slab of grilled bread under there sops up all the yokey goodness. Something called TryMe tiger sauce- a hot sauce with a sweetish sour kinda kick finishes it off. Meow.


But first, coffee. Despite four new teas, two cinnamon and two Earl Grey (gimme all your bergamot), coffee it was. Today, at least. With cinnamon.


I just watched a docuseries from several years ago, The Story of Film: An Odyssey, based on a book written by film critic Mark Cousins. He chose to narrate the work as well, over fifteen hours in length. His manner of narration added much to the feel of the series- his cadence and phrasing lulled me in, though reviews listed this as having turned off quite a few viewers.

I enjoyed much of the series, my eyes opened more to how a scene is framed, an action relayed. I often notice such things, but from a reactionary standpoint. The film helped me see it more through the eyes of a director, how the scene is initially thought up and then carried out. It showed the clear progression and evolution of film, the additions of angles and light, continuity and mood, and as they developed, the new techniques employed that allowed an even better telling of story.

Most enjoyable was the coverage of threads of similarity woven throughout different film periods. This director showed such ’n’ such an element at this angle and this director then emulated it. I was familiar with some, and with others, I wanted to ask if it was an intentional ode or appropriation of sorts by the director, or merely an observation by Cousins- he sought patterns and therefore found them. Maybe a bit of both? ♦

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Insert Moniker Here, er, Title



“Modicum” and “moniker”- words I’ve never really used- only read- that I’ve found myself using multiple times this past week. Take this trip to (ug) McDonald’s where I ordered a burger with guacamole on it. In theory. I pulled the burger box top back and all appeared well. Gee, thanks for the lime wedge, Mickey D’s, and the thoughtful sheet of deli paper that preserves the fancy-schmance roll. Several bites in and why no flavor, no textural sensation? Pulled off the bun and holy-no-guacamole! A mere modicum of the red and green that should be. In fact, it looks as though they wiped it off rather than put any on. That lime’s got a lot to compensate for.


I shoulda just made dinner at home like this tasty one from last year- cilantro burgers with sriracha mayo. I prefer thinner burgers, but these guys were like beefed up sliders (proudly making Dad jokes and puns with the best/worst of ’em since age fifteen), so the chunkified meat worked well.

And now for something tasty from the “words” department.

Brain Pickings is a marvelous site dedicated to defining what it means to live the good life- talks of love, traits of character, themes of thought, truth, beauty- a focus on the heavy handed stuff that truly matters over the fun and fluff that has its place and to which I most certainly subscribe. Its author, Maria Popova, often chooses a theme and explores it by stitching together a variety of excerpts from famous writers in times past. She (more than) once shared the words of Albert Camus, words written during WWII that as she points out, still hold relevance today.

We must mend what has been torn apart, make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more to peoples poisoned by the misery of the century. Naturally, it is a superhuman task. But superhuman is the term for tasks we take a long time to accomplish, that’s all …

… The first thing is not to despair. Let us not listen too much to those who proclaim that the world is at an end. Civilizations do not die so easily, and even if our world were to collapse, it would not have been the first. It is indeed true that we live in tragic times. But too many people confuse tragedy with despair.

I love that a word seemingly beyond our capabilities, superhuman, is made attainable by Camus defining it as something simply requiring time. That he confines tragedy to moments in that time, mere events really, rather than a collective whole. To not despair, to never give up. It’s the base decision from which to rally from, to rise up and continue from, a main theme in my own life, and an absolute necessity in our terribly wonderful, horribly frightening world. ♦

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A Birthday Here, a Birthday There


I found out why my Uncle was called “Lefty.” He played baseball for the Tacoma Ice Cream Company where he received the name “Lefty” as a pitcher. Then, in a turn of irony, he ended up losing sight in his left eye due to a gun misfiring at the age of 22. I remember his eyes always being obscured by the glasses he wore, and he’d peer over them at you when he was searching for eye contact.


I was all set to tell about Bean’s birthday doing when I realized that this particular birthday doing above managed to evade the cake crappery I encounter when placing orders over the years as shared previously. This cake was made/molded/sculpted by a lovely friend who counts decorating among her skills and talents. It was for my Mom’s birthday because she adores Eeyore. She removed his tail as a keepsake and presumably for safekeeping as he’s been known to lose it over the years.

“TheMandy Patinkin and Daisy Eagan

As for Bean’s birthday, she grew up absolutely obsessed with The Secret Garden– the book most especially, followed closely by the Broadway musical. In that Broadway musical was Mandy Patinkin in the role of key character, Archibald Craven. So when Mandy came to town this past June so soon after Bean’s birthday, we were there, front row and center. For weeks before, we tried to convince our Dad that he wanted to go, to which he always gave a lackluster response. Then one day, he discovered that Patinkin had been in Evita, for which our Dad knows the songs, but hadn’t known the singers. “Why didn’t ya say so?” he asked us. Why didn’t we?

That night, Mandy was marvelous. His passion for singing was clear and contagious and much to my delight, he dispersed many a story between each new song. Tchaikovsky and Other Russians was among the songs covered, a fun piece listing the full-bodied names of mostly Russian composers at an ever increasing speed. One of Mandy’s albums, Mamaloshen, features many popular tunes all sung in Yiddish (always love an ish), and from this he shared a rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Nem Mikh mit tsu der Bol Geym! He and his accompanying pianist were touching, illuminating, amusing, and moving, easily eliciting a standing ovation from all. And just when we thought it was all over, he concluded the night with a nod to his past role containing an iconic line of retribution by taking on the physical stance of a man armed and dangerous, about to duel. I had a compulsive desire to reach out and boop his shoe. I remain so glad I didn’t. ♦

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