Thursday, April 29, 2010

Advice to Caps Fans from a Cubs Fan

Just keep repeating over and over again: "Oh well, there's always next year . . ."

Taxation Without Representation and Worse

How fair is it that D.C. residents, who voted in favor of strong gun control laws for our little burg, must allow anyone and his brother to carrying guns on our streets in order to gain a vote in Congress? Again, the gun-slingers won the day and forced us to give up one more chance for a vote.
. . . and. . .
Is anyone else irritated by the commercials touting help and a reduction of taxes owed to the IRS? As an honest, up-to-date tax-payer, I resent that some people who owe tens of thousands in back taxes end up paying just a fraction of what they owe. Is there no justice?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hanging Out in My Bathroom

No, it's not what you're thinking. Our bathroom is the only room in our apartment with a source of heat we can control, aside from the kitchen and it's oxygen consuming gas oven. Don't take me wrong -- I LOVE my gas stove, but it is dangerous to use it as a heat source. Ever since the whiners and shakers convinced management to turn off the heat and turn on the cooling, I've wanted to hit each of them upside the head with my cold, blue hand! Three hot days was too much for some to handle, so they complained. Of course, as soon as they did, the weather changed and has not hit 70 since then. At night, temps dip down into the forties. Thank goodness for our fluffy, warm comforter. There's a perhaps not widely known saying about Washington weather -- "if you don't like the weather now, wait 24 hours." I wish someone had been thinking of that before they decided to turn off the heat. Normally, I'm the last to complain about the cold. However, when there is no escape from it 24/7 except by crawling into bed or spending unproductive time in the bathroom, I cease being a happy camper. It's hard to read a book all comfy in your favorite chair, wrapped in layers of manmade fleece! Turning pages with numb hands . . . well, you get the picture.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Come on PETA -- get REAL!

I've tried to view PETA's mission as noble and righteous. I agree that animals should be treated ethically and humanely, but a recent statement from PETA "cooked their goose" in my mind. A guy who deliberately and coldly murdered a young woman sitting on her porch eating a burger supposedly did so, according to PETA, because he loves meat. Now I ask you . . . .??? This guy happened to walk by as she was enjoying a burger her mom had just made for her and decided he wanted one too. Didn't know the residents but demanded one anyway. Naturally, he was denied and left. A few minutes later he returned with a gun and, in a barrage of bullets, shot the young woman dead and wounded her mom -- all because they didn't give him a burger. I don't care if they called him nasty names or dissed him -- his actions were off the wall. Is PETA saying that liking meat makes people crazy-dangerous? If that was so, we'd all be in serious trouble. According to their theory, just walking by a fast food joint could drive someone into a carnivorous rage, compelling him to grab a gun to shoot someone. I respect vegetarians and vegans and never would say anything against their diet choices. To each his own. I don't eat a lot of meat myself, but I have a right to choose how I nourish my body. PETA's statement was offensive, idiotic and outright disgusting. Shame on them!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another Trigger

Tears came to my eyes as I realized that this is the first time I've made my apricot chicken recipe since my Dad died almost three years ago. It was one of the last bits of food he ate -- with me carefully feeding it to him. I suppose I have to expect triggers like this. The memory is as fresh as if it happened last week. Dad had no appetite, but he allowed me to watch him enjoy my recipe. Mom is a marvelous cook and inspired me to follow in her footstepts. When I married Spouse, I had to develop sauces to go with anything (he likes wet food). I have quite a repetoire, if I do say so myself. Anyway -- I think my Dad knows I still miss him and think about him often. Now I'll go dry my eyes and, in a little while, sit down to supper with Spouse and remember Dad's smiling face. Peace

The Power of Heat

During two days of 90-degree-heat, the trees and shrubs just couldn't hold out any longer. They let loose with a flurry of leaves, flowers and of course oodles of pollen. Doors and windows have been open because the central air didn't come on til yesterday afternoon [hurray!] so every surface is powdered with pale yellow. There's always a price to be paid for such beauty. I think it's worth it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sunday NOT in the Park

When the cherry blossoms come out, we stay in. Normally. Yesterday was Easter and it was also the day Mom decided to celebrate that holy day AND my sister Janet's and my birthdays, within a week of each other in April. Great idea except . . . Spouse and I allowed 1 1/2 hours to drive the 64 miles to Mom's down in Solomons. It usually doesn't take that long, but we knew we'd have to skirt the Tidal Basin area. Normally, we leave Foggy Bottom heading east on Constitution Ave., take the turn onto 17th, circle the Basin and head to Maine Avenue to S. Cap. and the Douglass Bridge. Constitution really dragged, but as soon as we turned south onto 7th Street, it became pretty much clear sailing except for a few slooooow Sunday drivers. Eventually, we made it onto Suitland Parkway, then route 4 and sailed on down arriving at Mom's two hours after we left home. Thankfully, Janet's clan was running late because of an extra long church service. As a special decoration, Alex brought his family's Easter Tree. Didn't know Easter had it's own tree, but what the heck. It took a little while and some guidance from Spouse, but Alex did a fine job of decorating it. After a tasty meal, Janet and I opened our gifts and enjoyed the birthday cake Mom provided. Then it was time for Spouse and me to head back up the road. Perhaps it was all the sugar in the cake and handmade candies Janet shared with us -- I lost my head. Rather than again give the Tidal Basin area a wide berth, I innocently drove across Maine Avenue to the turn-off around the Basin. BIG MISTAKE!! Hordes of people pushing bikes and strollers or just ambling along crossed the street when we should have been driving through the intersection. Didn't seem to bother them that they were walking against the light, but it sure bothered us drivers. As a possible route of escape, I turned to go up 15th street which crosses the Mall. Yup -- you guessed it -- the same kind of oblivious jaywalking behavior there, too. Now I realize that all these tourists are probably spending some serious bucks here in D.C., but I really don't want to knock one down with my car! Spend your money AND please obey the laws, OK? We want you and your money to come back again! Rather than just brooding about the crippled traffic like Spouse was (vocally) I opened the sunroof, pulled out my little Canon Power Shot and clicked a couple of picks along 15th. The first is a frieze on the Dept. of Commerce right at 15th between Constitution and Penn. The second is a bit of the handsome old building owned by the Folger, Nolan . . . law firm. FYI: the blossoming tree is from the road into Mom's community.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm just an April Fool.

There aren't too many funny things about depression; it's more a matter of irony. On the brightest, sunniest day depression can hit like a hammer blow to the head. "I don't deserve to enjoy such a gorgeous day. -- or -- Why can't I get my shit out of bed to at least open the curtains?" To me, these ironies prove that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. How else to explain how one can feel darkly blue when the rest of the world is overjoyed? Granted, there have been plenty of times when circumstances forced me get moving when I would rather have folded up and disappeared. The end result is usually positive. I've taken medicine for anxiety/depression since a few years after I married in 1983. Spouse and I lived with each other for a year and a half before I was able to say I would marry him. Even then, if it hadn't been for his near deportation, we might still be living in sin. I wasn't interested in getting married although I was hopelessly attracted to Spouse. Three previous engagements had made me skittish and incredibly grateful that I'd not married any one of the guys! After breaking with the last one, I decided I was happier being solitary. I did what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted -- no interference. I'm still fine in my own company. Only one of my cousins, who is the same way, gets it. He had a long, passionate marriage with a woman whom he credits with saving him from himself. He was a wild young man and she introduced him to a life that was fun as well as stable and fulfilling. Tragically, she recently died following a long, uncredibly courageous battle against cancer. I think the shared trauma and dashed hopes during that brought them even closer together. To many people's surprise, my cousin is doing well on his own. He's in his mid-6os so he could enjoy another marriage if he was interested. He adopted a stray dog who simply adores him and sticks to him like a magnet. His Kindle is a constant companion whether he's in the back yard, or sitting in his favorite chair in the room he and his wife remodeled shortly before her death. Surviving a Dickensian childhood and Vietnam, I don't think anything can hurt him anymore. He freely admits that his late wife grounded him and helped to heal his soul. My childhood was idyllic in comparison. I grew up surrounded by family in a small, safe Chicago suburb with excellent schools, a church I felt connected to and the best beach on Lake Michigan! We kids were free to roam all over town without any thought of danger other than losing a shoe in the ravine's quicksand or frostbite from staying out too long in winter. Our dog roamed with us; sans leash. I so wish that today's young kids could enjoy the same freedoms and security. But I digress . . . Chemistry was strong between us the first time Spouse and I saw each other. Maybe you've heard of the lightning bolt of love. Well, there was that and more! We couldn't keep our eyes off each other and, in very short order, couldn't stand to be apart. With any new relationship, there's a period of adjustment. Ours was horrendous!! Even though I was completely infatuated, I was reluctant to give up my freedom. Truth be told, I dreaded sharing my apartment with anyone else and hated the idea of having to check with anyone before making plans or a decision. I'd owned a car for only five years and was all about spontaneity and adventuring. That quickly fizzled because Spouse doesn't have a spontaneous bone in his body! The more I learned about Spouse and his childhood in the Middleast, the more I realized how fantastic mine had been in comparison. I was never deliberately humiliated or abused by teachers or forced to publicly celebrate the birthday of a tyrannical leader. Secret police never came to my house when I failed to report to work after working 72 hours straight. My naivete took a flying leap. It would be untrue to say I pity Spouse. I feel his pain and try to take his mind off of it when it surfaces. However, I've come to accept that even non-practicing Muslims may forgive but they never forget. We've debated the futility of revenge too many times and he still feels the need of it even for events 50 years ago! He carries painful memories that I worry are affecting his health. It's crazy because we're both worried about each other's health which is, of course, unhealthy. [did that make any sense?] So -- here I sit at my computer, waiting for someone to fix the leak under our kitchen sink and typing my sad saga on an unbelievable gorgeous, fresh, Spring afternoon. I should be out enjoying it and taking pictures in my beloved D.C. The will just isn't there. Maybe my PCP is right that I should find a therapist. Maybe there's a drug or answers to subconscious concerns that could turn my life around. If only I knew how to kick-start myself . . . Music! That's what I need. I'll go put on some jazzy Gershwin or raggin' Motown. That should get my mojo goin'! Hope y'all are out enjoying this magnificent April Fool's Day!