Walking is Better

Once upon a time in a world long ago flying was a pleasure. From the moment you got to the airport to when you put your tush in your seat you were treated with respect and hospitality.

I was on my way to becoming a flight attendant for PanAm when all of a sudden it went belly-up. I wanted to see the world while hosting travelers on their planes. To this day there’s nothing I’d rather do than travel, that is until I get to security. Then it’s all out war. I refuse to go into the scanners. I’m convinced they’re a health hazard. New York TSA agents are the worse. They’re bullies. Well, I bully back, which throws them off their game. That’s when they threaten me with harsh pat downs. “Bring them on,” I say standing my ground and glowering back.

It seems to me airline travel is a burden to the airlines. I think they’d rather be transporting chickens than humans. At least chickens wouldn’t be a threat on board or try to commandeer a plane into mass destruction.  You’d just have to clean up a lot of feathers after every trip, but then you could diversify and go into making pillows.photo (90)

Flight attendants are tired and irritated with the long hours of the work day. Pilots no longer just fly the planes, they also do cabin clean-up in between stops. There’s no time for lunch. I’ve seen crews grab granola bars and wilted salads at the airports. They’re probably dehydrated, which explains their impatience with the public.  And the hours of cabin pressure I’m sure is stressing out their hearts and lungs. No wonder they’re angry. Nobody is taking care of anybody and it trickles down to the traveler who only wants a beer, a movie and a smooth trip home.

None of this, however excuses United from the abominable treatment of its passenger on the flight out of Chicago. I noticed that neither pilots or crew were involved in the incident, which was good otherwise if I had been on board I would have bolted off the flight, realizing I was in a horror movie. And then the airline would have had its empty seat.

Calvin says, “The friendly skies look troubled these days. Stick to walking.”  beagle

Chaos on Parade

We’ve had two weeks of President Trump and the country is upside down in turmoil, or so the media tells us. Now the speculation is whether Melania will be joining her husband in the White House or keeping to her high-rise luxurious surroundings in New York. Either place she can’t go very far anymore without a Secret Service detail following her every step. Where’s the fun in that? She might as well immigrate to the White House where the action is. I hope she emerges as one of the best First Ladies we’ve had in years because she’s certainly going to turn heads wherever she goes.  img_1402

Now there’s talk of California wanting to secede and become its own country. Sort of what England has done with the EU. Except are we ready for Hollywood to run the place? You don’t think they’ll keep Sacramento as the state capitol do you, when they have studio lots galore where they can set up a throne for the president? And who would be president? Arnold Schwarzenegger? At least he had a real run at politics as governor. Martin Sheen? I suppose he could refer back to his fake experience as president in the West Wing. I know. Tony Robbins. He’s so popular and has helped so many lost souls regain their emotional equilibrium that he’d win by a landslide. Besides, how long can Tony keep walking over live coals and bellowing, “You can do it!” He needs a new gig.

Calvin says, “I like the sound of citizen of California. I’d get a beagle green card and better food.” beagle

 

 

Oy!

“Are people on suicide watch where you are?” my friend asked me today, one day after the election. “Me? I stayed up all night drinking champagne.”

My colleagues at work are in a somber mood. Nobody dares talk about the election results fearing they will offend others or they are so depressed they don’t want to burst into tears and look silly. img_4349

I guess it comes down to this: everyone likes to win and in this case, they didn’t.

I’ve also noticed that people are afraid of what life will be like come January 20. In my opinion that’s attributing a lot of power to someone who’s never been in office before. What, as soon as he steps into the oval office he’s going to ruin everything? What if our new president turns out to be one of the best we’ve ever had? Nobody has offered that as a possibility. He stands the same chance of being reasonably good as a seasoned politico, perhaps better.  And why wouldn’t he? After all, aren’t we a country of new opportunities for everyone?

Calvin says, “Not this guy. He doesn’t even own a dog.”  beagle

 

 

 

The Next Stop

I see this scene every day. A man gets on the train with me and sits in two empty seats. He’s dressed to the nines. Full piece gabardine suit with a handkerchief peeking out of his pocket, silk tie to match, pale colored shirt, stylist shoes and artsy socks. I notice these things. His dark rimmed circle glasses makes him look like a scholar who belongs in a wing back chair in a well appointed library, smoking a pipe as he bends over his large book in his lap.painting30

She gets on the next stop and smiles at him. He beams. She’s in a simple shirt, pants and running shoes. Her purse is a backpack. They huddle like lovebirds. He’s the talker, she’s the listener. Both wear wedding bands. Are they married to each other or is this a rendezvous? Perhaps they’re newlyweds. Both in their 50’s. They couldn’t be this besotted with each other otherwise.

Calvin says, “I vote for the rendezvous. That way you have entertainment for the ride home.”  beagle

 

Not Yet, Maybe Later

One of my favorite authors is coming out with a new book.

It’s called Scary Close by Donald Miller.

Apparently it’s about intimacy.

I find that comical. Don is single, or was. He recently married at 42. And his book is about what it’s like to live with another person after so many years of being a self-proclaimed hermit. Well, writers are hermits. That’s part of their DNA. You can’t write while you’re carrying on at a party, or watching a movie, or attending church. You can’t write while having a conversation with your spouse either.

I’ll bet his wife is an extrovert dragging him into public places with friends and family and ruining his writing time.

I think he should have waited at least 7 years to write it. He’s still in the honeymoon stage of married life. Nothing he says now is going to be true later. But it’s too late. He didn’t consult me.
Jacqueline Osborn

I loved his Author’s Note:

“Somebody told me we will never feel loved until we drop the act, until we’re willing to show our true selves to the people around us.

“When I heard that I knew it was true. I’d spent a good bit of my life as an actor, getting people to clap—but the applause only made me want more applause. I didn’t act in a theater or anything. I’m talking about real life.

“The thought of not acting pressed on me like a terror. Can we really trust people to love us just as we are?

“Nobody steps onto a stage and gets a standing ovation for being human. You have to sing or dance or something.

“I think that’s the difference between being loved and making people clap, though. Love can’t be earned, it can only be given. And it can only be exchanged by people who are completely true with each other. I shouldn’t pretend to be an expert, though. I didn’t get married until I was forty-two, which is how long it took me to risk being myself with another human being.

“Here are two things I found taking the long road, though:

“Applause is a quick fix. And love is an acquired taste.”

Calvin says, “Oh no, why can’t he leave well enough alone. Intimacy is a well loved bone by the fire.”beagle

 

 

Change Is the Only Constant

The Giants won the World Series last week and celebrated with a massive parade at City Hall.

The Republicans took Congress this week and are happy with their victories.  
Giants

So what’s going to happen next week?

Maybe rain?

I hope so because we need it.

My lawn looks like a desert.

My last remaining tomatoes are still green on the vine.

Have you noticed that the drought has not phased golf courses, hotel gardens, and the mansions of the very rich? Are they receiving the $500 fine, I wonder?

Some of my neighbors’ lawns are as green as a hillside in Scotland. And I know they wouldn’t relish paying out those $500 dollars.

So what do they know that I don’t?

Are they watering their lawns with green paint? Or maybe with bottled water from the water store?

I want in on their secret.

Meanwhile I’ve been researching on the web for tips on how to take care of your lawn in a drought.

Here’s one that’s scary:

“You need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your particular grass.”

Really? Do I call in a drought specialist for therapy sessions?

Other tips include only watering those areas that are dying, and ignoring the areas that are surviving.

And – this one gave me hope – brown grass does not mean dead grass.

What planet are you on?

Calvin says, “I can provide water, just let me loose in the front yard.” beagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Kitchen Visitor

Here’s another bird story:

I visited a friend on Labor Day.  She lives on top of a mountain in a sprawling house, with a pool and several studios. She’s an artist and bird lover. We talked about the many species of birds that inhabit her world which she feeds – woodpeckers, ravens, blue jays, sparrows and a slew of others I can’t name. I don’t know my bird kingdom.

She also owns two dogs and two horses. The occasional fox shows up at night looking for food as do many deer. IMG_0205

The next day a hawk flew into her dining room, and smashed all her vases by the windows in its attempts to flee. Without breaking into a sweat, my friend threw a blanket over it and took it outside. It stood very still for a few seconds, she said, and then flew into a nearby tree and glared back at her.

I’m calling her the bird whisperer.

I couldn’t have done that. I would have panicked, and then the bird would have flown all over the house, crashing into things, the dogs would have gone after it, leaving loose feathers and flesh all over the place, and I would have ended up calling 911 and all of us going to the ER for stitches.

Calvin says, “A hawk? You’re kidding me, right? Why don’t you take me with you on these visits!?” beagle