Monday, August 31, 2015


I have written before about how much I love August. This summer has gone so fast that it sneaked up on me. We've had such variable weather, mostly cool, and in the first two months, enough rain to make you think of building an ark. The garden has delivered about three anorexic tomatoes and no green peppers. The herbs are looking puny, and the only things bursting with blooms are the marigolds, which have never looked so good.
Attendance at the county fair was down, as was the number of exhibitors. One of our aerobics ladies, a wizaed of the baked goods competition, said that even the number of entries was way down in both that category and the vegetable display. One reason for the low attendance may have been that the schools started a week before the fair. I didn't go this year or last, for that matter. There was a time when Polly had goats, that we all entered something and felt like genuine country folk. Polly won a blue ribbon for her Apple  (I have typed the a word four times and Spellcheck insists on capitalizing it, no doubt under orders from the ghost of Steve Jobs; I thought of changing it to pecan, but that would be wrong.)  pie, and her goat Finney always won at least one hideous trophy. I entered a macrame piece ( macrame was big then) but I don't remember if I got a ribbon for it.
Before this month ends,  I have to mention and illustrate the incredible sunsets. Surrounded by trees, we don't get the full effect, but people have been posting  some pretty spectacular photos. We've had the gorgeous blue with puffy white clouds skies,  and until recently lots of greenery. Right now it's dry and the lawns are tan and a bit crunchy underfoot. not unusual for the end of summer and early September. Well, that's the weather report for today.
And how's the weather in your neck of the woods? (Shades of my father!)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Out of the Loop

I think it started somewhere around the fourth or fifth season of "Dancing With the Stars," maybe a little later. Or maybe the last five or six years of SNL. With  "Saturday Night Live" it was with the guest musicians.  There is always the excited preface, hyping what is to come. For DWTS,  in the weeks preceding the first show, there is the sense of suspense over which stars we shall see. Who are the famous stars we will watch sweating and straining for the next few weeks, wearing sequins and tulle and diaphanous bits of colored cloth as they twirl about? Actually I haven't watched it for a long time, for reasons to follow' but I still remember this giddy hype.
In the first years, it was a guilty pleasure, fun to watch, and impressive to see non-dancers achieve what my friend  Tom called fancy maneuvers, and wondrous feats with their feet. The judges were experts, actually judging and seemed to know and explain the art of ballroom dancing. I have never been a good dancer, even in doing the simple box step, so I am in awe of anyone who can manage this skill at all, to say nothing of the intricate routines these people were able to develop over a few months, people like actors, singers  and athletes, people whose names and occupations you knew. Even then the term "star" was a bit of a stretch, but they were famous enough that I didn't have to Google them, if Google was around then.
It started happening little by little. When the announcement of a certain season was made, I had no idea who half the people were. If they were stars it was on some planet out of my my own universe. Apparently those people who open their lives to  "reality" TV are now stars, and everyone knows them except for me. I am completely out of the loop. I quit watching DWTS, which is probably all right with them.
About SNL. That started, as I wrote about above, with the musical guests. In the good old days they had Paul Simon, James Taylor, Mick Jagger, sting and all those great singer-songwriters  who sang music with tunes and words. Then they started with the grunge groups, the boy groups, the rap
groups, and the music is back to three chords and repepetative words. I do not know who these people are.
The only contemporary pop stars whose names I know are Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga, and that's only because you can't get away from them, rather like Madonna thirty some years ago. They're rather like the Donald Trumps of pop music. Half the time I don't know who the guest hosts of SNL are either. They may be from some cable TV show I don't watch. They still bring in recognizable people, though and the new cast is pretty good. I don't know their names, though. By the time I learn their names, they'll be off to Hollywood like the rest of the old crowd.
I don't mind being out of the loop. I have  one of my own.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Politics as Farce

There is now proof positive that Fox News is all about entertainment, not honest information. I did not watch the "debate," since I do not have cable. ( Who needs 250 channels when you only watch 6 or 8 at the most?) However, I have watched replays of what was apparently the crucial content: the constant focus on  the least likely and least likeable contender, whose name I shall not use, since he or his minions probably Google it every ten minutes.
First of all, he was,by some happenstance - hah! - placed front and center on the stage. Couldn't miss him if you tried which nobody  tried to do. If the strategy was to amuse, or irritate, they sucmnceeded. If they were going for their usual yahoo audience, they succeeded. Qualifying his crude, rude comments about women and immigrants from Mexico ( Aren't all Spanish speaking immigrants Mexicans?)' as a protest against "political correctness" he then felt free use the language of the terminally ignorant.
Of course,the result of his being encouraged by the moderators to spew his venom is that he's been constantly in the news ever since. His bloated face looms out from print, the Internet and TV like  a wayward comet. (I couldn't resist doing a caricature myself. It's just too easy.)
If I were one of those other candidates, I'd sue Fox News for malfeasance, or something. It was disgraceful.
I am not a Republican, and far from conservative, but I wonder how the GOP is going to overcome the damage he is doing to their cause. Perhaps if the media could restrain themselves from ratings or selling papers, and focus on some sane presentation of serious presidential possibilities, say,  people who don't  believe the earths is 5000 years old, and that  the hand  of  man may have something to  do with climate change, and that just because she's a female a woman like  Sarah Palin is not presidential timber, then perhaps they might put up someone fairly decent for me to vote against next year.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sixto Loves Me, I Think

I've mentioned before that Sixto the cat is a lap cat, a situation I've used to avoid things like making tea or starting dinner when he is in place. John is still his main person. However, last weekend, John took off for a folk festival in Canada. For almost four days, I could hardly get Sixto off my lap.
In the morning, I'd be reading the paper, and he'd crash through it to curl up on my lap. He'd occasionally  start by making a few head bumps, gazing soulfully into my eyes.
When I'd get up, dumping him off, he'd start grooming himself nonchalantly. As soon as I sat down, the process started over. He doesn't just curl up and snooze. He likes the flop down, roll onto his back, curl his front paws over his nose and peer up at me for a while before he drops off to sleep. He's not a large cat, but he requires a lot of space because of  having to arrange the proper draping of his very long tail. In hot weather, having even a small furry cat on one's lap can be an uncomfortable addition to one's person.
He knew John was back before I did. From a sound sleep, on Monday evening, he suddenly woke up, jumped off my lap and got to the front door just as John opened it to come in. It was a bit uncanny. I guess I'm an adequate substitute when his main person is gone. Even now, though, he is favoring me with his presence, perhaps thinking John may abandon him again. So I think I have risen to a substitute main person.