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All The Things You Are

I love my car. I took possession of it on March 30, 2007, with 31 miles on it. I'd never had a new car before; all the ones I bought previously were a year old. I fell in love with it first because of a TV ad, which is funny or silly, I think. But before we brought it home, I drove a Saturn Behemoth, and a Toyota WayOverpriced, and something else, then I drove the new CX-9 and it was just what I wanted and knew it would be.

That was in New Jersey, and it's taken half a dozen long road trips, but still has only 88,000 miles on it because of how I don't go anywhere otherwise. At least, not since moving to Ohio in 2011. I enjoyed driving more on the east coast. Sometimes I'd find an excuse just to drive around because I liked driving it so much. Mazda

I still do, actually, though it would like some detailing, and shows its age just a bit in a few ways. The view here is just significantly less interesting.

It's at the shop right now, though, because of a recall. Interestingly, the service person told me they hadn't seen any part failures there yet in the tests they'd done so far, that it mainly happened in the "salt belt," farther north. I pointed out I lived in New Jersey during Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon, etc. He was still all, "pshaw." But that was a lot of snow, man, several times in several years.  We drove in it for weeks at a time.Feb2010

The man came with me in case I needed to leave it, and we went to Starbucks and when we came back to see about things, it was all, "Whoops, yours is the first one that failed here." I wasn't at all surprised. I had one of those feelings people get, for whatever reason, that told me it would. They gave me the keys to a Chevy Equinox and said the part would probably be in on Friday. I read a couple articles which said the parts available have mainly been sent to dealerships up north where they expected to be using them.

The Equinox is a more appropriate size, now that the kids are all mostly grown up, and it is, merely by virtue of being much newer, rather fancier. But man, I love driving my CX-9. I think if I were in the position to buy a new car, I'd test the rather smaller CX-5, however, I am not. Nevertheless, despite this recall, I feel somewhat devoted to Mazda, though I don't know if it's just that they hit where I live so perfectly with the CX-9, or whether that also translates to the rest of their line. And so although I'll enjoy driving a new car around for a couple days, I'll be awfully glad to get my old one back. Meandmycar

(If only I could also get size 4 and perfect eyesight and a large measure of collagen back, as well...)

About your social media medical degree...

I can't tolerate prescription pain reliever or strong anesthesia, but have never had the least trouble digesting any food. So when people say, "That item of food is bad for you, etc., you must never eat it," it really irks me.

When someone carries on about having been prescribed "the good drugs," which are absolutely bad for me, I do not tell that person not to take them because bad for me = bad for everyone. Wouldn't that be a very silly thing for me to do?


There are some people in this world with a serious illness caused by certain enzymes in foods. I take their needs and concerns very, very seriously. But I do not have time for anybody who says gluten turns to glue in your stomach, or tells me what I should eat because of an article they read in HuffPo three years ago.

As for my own concerns, I do not believe that red meat is bad for people in general, though I share the idea that we should eat it from as healthful a source as possible. For me, it will be best to mostly eliminate it from my diet, partly as a compensation for enjoying a little cream in my coffee, and partly because the best way for me to add in more of something I need is to subtract something else I don't need. And if I'm limited to 12-13 grams of saturated fat per day, I'd rather have it from dairy than meat. DSC_3520

I've never been a big meat eater. When I was a child, I could hardly bear ground meat, and I found the rest of it annoying to chew. As an adult, I prefer my beef tartare or tataki-style. It would be much more difficult to give up Genoa salami (which rarely has veal in it these days,) though I can easily live without ever eating another hamburger or cooked steak. I've been counseled by a paid professional to have no more than two servings of salami (or ham, etc.) per week, but I know what she really meant was, "if you must." So I'll think of it as a treat only. DSC_3688

A medication I am currently taking requires me to consider the sugar question much more carefully, and thus, alcohol, as well. I can retain my two cocktail a week habit only if I make sure to eat well and monitor my sugar usage. IMG_0002

I do not drink sweetened soda or tea, but will sweeten a morning mug of coffee unless I am having espresso and cream made by an expert. That's something to consider. And I have an exaggerated relationship with cookies (something like being perpetually 19 with a cute boyfriend with a motorcycle)


but I keep lightly sweetened biscotti around to enjoy occasionally when I make dessert for the boys, or am enjoying a long slow Sunday morning (see above.) I love steel-cut oats in the evening, but will learn to enjoy that with fruit instead of honey.

The point is, we have our own personal balances to maintain, and they are not subject to hashtag keyword seasonal facts in possession of a lofty notion collector. They are subject only to our own understanding of our own bodies, and information from our own medical tests and consultations.

tl;dr: Don’t assume an air of authority and/or make concrete pronouncements to an INTP, or to anyone else if that person is nearby, or how about just don't at all? myob.

PS: I'm not into the label thing most times, but never have I read such a complete and accurate description of my basic personality as at the site linked in the previous sentence. I don't know if people possessing the other types think they nailed it so completely for them, all sorts of variables in play, but if that sort of thing interests you, maybe take the test and see if it's so. And if you read through the INTP one or at least a lot of it, you will know me to a fairly scary degree.


The Night of the Shirtless Agent

Yeah, I never claimed to be original all the time.

A friend on Google Plus was sharing tidbits from The Wild, Wild West today, which got me thinking two things. First, as I have been wanting to do some weekly themes, Thursday might be a good day for posts such as this one here. Which I am doing because something you might not know about me is that Bret Maverick was not entirely my first crush. He shared that privilege with two others:



though my heart actually belonged to James Garner, and a piece of it always will.

I really loved The Wild Wild West. Well, actually, Artie always made me super uncomfortable, but James West captivated me for awhile. So I watched it after school when I was a little kid. It's definitely ironic that CBS had to can the show because of a congressional uproar over violent programming, but I was just watching it at 4 in the afternoon a few years later, for my own little reasons. Poolstick
As a child, I never thought of the show as violent. I mean, none of it seemed real to me or particularly visceral. It was just TV. Beltbuckle
But The Wild, Wild West was actually extremely violent at times, to anyone who was paying attention to the actual events taking place. Am I saying I've always been kind of shallow? Probably.
James West as portrayed by Robert Conrad set the standard for how the good guy should be treated by villains. He was super fit and rarely tied up or pinned down until he was shirtless, but he always had a couple gadgets in his pockets he could use to free himself before the bomb went off or the bad guy came back from having wandered off to tend to his minions, dressed or undressed. This is how these things should operate. Imagine if Adam West had been so fit as Batman. Dynamite
In The Wild, Wild West, two guys traveled around together in a private train car, wore fancy clothes, and one of them was nearly always wearing a disguise. The other one was always finding himself tied up. Those were the good old days I grew up with. The Wild, Wild West was born the same year I was, actually. It was a very good year.

Here are a few more shots from the show. If you expected me to note which episodes they came from, I expect you're at the wrong blog. But you can watch many of them on YouTube, and collect your own favorite shirtless/torture moments. Also, you can read this blog post written by a friend in 2005, which actually discusses the show and its production.










A Ship on the Ohio

On Tuesday, some of us went downtown to have a look at the LST 325 tank landing ship. It is regularly docked in Evansville, Indiana, and has a tourist season during which the crew sails to various locations, using the ticket fees and private donations to help maintain the ship. One sign told us the ship is 99% original parts, and you can read more about it here. I took a lot of pictures, some of which are pretty good and some of which were hurried and not so great. Here they are with a few captions; it's really better to let the people running the thing tell the story behind it.

The ship was docked just a block from Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati has only a few tall buildings, but they form a lovely skyline along with all the bridges and the large old homes on the Newport, KY side of the river. 



There was a very long line to tour the ship, but because it's so large, the line moved swiftly, and we were able to spend about an hour looking around. They suggest it will take 45 minutes, but one of us reads and reads and examines, and gets caught up in things, and it was easy to do that here.







DSC_3798I liked that two of the uniforms are accompanied by information about the men who wore them.


DSC_3802If I were on a ship back in those days, I'd want to work on the radar or radio, for sure. 


DSC_3804Or navigation.


DSC_3810This was a food storage area. We could smell lunch in the galley just above it. They were having Sloppy Joes.

DSC_3815Next we toured the top deck. Gun deck? It's been awhile since I paid some small amount of attention to areas of a Navy ship...but anyway, there are signs in Greek here and there. This ship was used by the Greek navy for a few decades and then it was given to the restoration group here. They left some of the evidence of Greek use as an homage to their own efforts.



DSC_3820The pilot room looked functionally elegant to me.

DSC_3821Here I imagined the main deck all cleared away and sailors breaking into a coordinated dance led by Gene Kelly...

DSC_3828We amused ourselves wondering what was inside here on the way to the officers' quarters. My vote was for whiskey.


DSC_3830Artistic vision...




DSC_3839As we left the ship, we went through crew quarters. Theron and I agreed one down from the top seemed least awful. 

The rest of the pictures are just views from the ship that I liked. These are smaller images than the originals; I might take those and crop them for interest on my old computer; this one doesn't have the software. 








The View From 50

My various attempts at blogging from January 17, 2003—September 11, 2015 are now stored here. There are 1371 posts. I estimate at least 1250 are readable, though many of the images from the first few years are not available, as I moved a lot and was forever changing storage locations until we no longer had to do it that way. I had very little reliable backup in those days. 

Then at one point I followed the host’s directions for transferring them to a new page, and lost some material, so only previews of a number of posts from 2009 were retained. Or do I mean 2007? Anyway. From September 2010 forward, it’s all been up to date in Kansas City, as somebody or other used to say, and most of the old stuff is still there, laughing at me from the silly young age of 37. I won’t laugh back. I pat 37 on the head and smile
People like colors and movement! So apropos of almost nothing...

still more changes

I redid the cover page for this site and am beginning the blog anew at a new address. This one will remain as an archive and testament to occasional bits of odd and earnest effort. You can click on the top left link to see what the new blog looks like.

Her Indian Summer, mark v, unfinished

Oppressive heat drifted on oceanic waves
so thick you could see it
sparkling languor
filtered by sultry sunlight

He applied and wore it
like a finely woven suit
or a glamour he’d cast
luring me closer, drawing me in

The steam from his pores clouded my vision
blindly I followed his lead
coaxed by the scent of fervid nectar
and a mouth that tasted sweet like sin

We Traced the Skyline

There's a theory I have about having been tertiary to this event, this day in history. You got your primary experiencers who are part of a group and among that group they know what they know, either staying quiet or protesting something, depending, all the rest of their lives. They are part of a terrible invisible club no one should want to belong to. I can’t speak as one of them, and would never try to. I honor their forbearance toward the rest of us as we tried to figure out how we fit into the picture.

You got your secondaries, in this case, people like me who were external witnesses in some way, and it affected us immediately in a number of areas, but not quite painfully, and we wouldn't think of laying claim to more than our share, because we could see the pain in and for others, right there in front of us. We stood on the beach in little groups and stared across the harbor at the blackened skyline, looking for flames. We rode the train to the city for the first time afterwards in some trepidation, not sure what we'd find. We watched planes circle overhead for weeks, and we attended memorials for the dead in our townships; "bedroom communities" for people with Manhattan offices. But as I said, we did all this just as external witnesses, nothing more. All we experienced during that day and those months afterwards was sometimes scary, sometimes frustrating, sometimes touching. We have stories. Yet we could always go home and scrub it from our skin and move on with our typically mundane lives.

If you were tertiary, you read about it, bumped into aspects of it, and wanted to embrace it because it was really, really big, but you didn't know how to fully connect. You simply weren’t there. So you flew your little car flags til they were raggedy, played Six Degrees of Separation from Tragedy, and cried “Never Forget" ensuring you’d always have something to remember and nod your head over. You discussed it online, compared Degrees, theories, solutions. All of this is completely understandable. We didn’t know back then what might happen next, you didn’t know if it could happen to you. But of course, it didn’t. Instead of still trying to lay claim to part of a huge tragedy after all this time, you get to be glad you didn’t have to.

I miss New York. It literally (literally) throbs with life. Something I will never forget is the first time I walked up the steps out of Penn Station onto 7th Avenue, and felt the air breathe around me. It was palpable, and it has stayed with me for fifteen years. I catch my breath as I write about it. It’s chaotic and it smells bad at night when they put the garbage out, and the public restrooms, if you can find them, are really lousy. But it is a living, breathing city like no other, and I will always be glad for the time I have spent there, even if I am never to go back. It’s been four years since I was an 80 minute train ride away. Yet my time there helped shape who I am now. New York taught me to embrace texture, pattern, and the juxtaposition between, oh, just anything and everything. You should go, if ever you can. Not so you can touch a part of history, but so you can experience everywhere on the planet drawn together into one neat crowded rectangle of humanity. It’ll be something awe-inspiring for you to embrace.