Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lead in the Head

I think there is now much evidence that the terrible situation in Flint, Muchigan is not confined to that beleaguered locale.  Increasingly, there is evidence of severe brain damage on a national scale. How else to explain the clear madness affecting voters in so many states during this primary season?
There can be no doubt that the lead contamination has affected the water supply across the country. In state after state, voters have gone to the polls and chosen as a nominee for president a person with the mentality and behavior of a thirteen year old boy.
Apparently the poison in the water has caused these people to imagine that this whole system of choosing a president is like that old "Let's Make a Deal," TV show where people put on ridiculous costumes and props to get on the show. Ever since men like Nixon and George W. Bush were elected to second terms, I have not had much trust in the American voter, but this time it seems downright hopeless. I know that there are those who switched parties during the primaries, either to give the Demicratic nominee a clear chance to win the general election, or to thwart the Big Orange Face's victory, but I think that strategy may backfire, and one hates to see the gloating and bragging that happens with every primary victory he bags.
So check your water supply. Buy the bottled stuff. Clear your brain.
Or just don't drink the water.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Being Socially Responsible

I have joined the Socially Responsible Sweatshop, a group of women who do good things in a basement. Well, it's not just any basement. It's in the beautiful home of my friend Carol. There is even a fireplac, comfortable couches and chairs and about 8 or 9 sewing machines. The group consists of women from the Universalist  Unitarian church and the year -round Kent Farmers' Market. The purpose of this group is to proved funds for those who use food stamps, by adding access to fresh produce and helping them to stretch their food budgets.
How they do this is so ingenious and practical and fun that the sweatshop moniker doesn't really apply in reality. They make yoga bags, pillows and meditation cushions. Kent is a big yoga town, with a number of studios,which are happy to purchase these goods. The materials are recycled from numerous sources (including the occasional dumpster). For instance, Goodwill sells silk scraps by the pound. At my first session, my job, since I can't sew these days, was to go through a big box of these beautiful  scraps and lay them out flat into neat piles which then went to whoever was ironing that day. These particular scraps will be made into smooth and lovely eye pads for yoga people. I think they're filled with soothing herbs or something. Om.
A woman next to me was cutting strips from tee shirts, which were then used to stuff the meditation cushions. I reckon those are what a yoga person sits on to chant and think beautiful thoughts.The women on the sewing machines were making bright and colorful yoga bags and the cushion covers. Altogether, there were fourteen of us.
A little after noon, we went upstairs for lunch, prepared by Mara, who loves to cook, and had a terrific lunch, with real lemonade, not the frozen stuff. We sat at two tables and ate and talked. I only knew two or three of the people, but it was easy to feel at home with all of them. Some of them are rather earnest and serious about the mission, but that doesn't get in the way of the general feeling camaraderie.
We had a man show up, Brad Bolton,  whom Carol had invited to come and observe the action.My family may remember Brad as the musician who played the turkey baster at my 80th birthday party. He's also one of the best guitarists in Northeast Ohio and a fine photographer. He didn't bring his guitar, but he did take a slew of photos and was very impressed.
I was also impressed, and look forward to the next meeting. Carol said maybe I can stuff some catnip mice, a little product they make to sell at the farmers' market. Sounds like a plan to me.

The picture is of the woods last week, after we'd had a few warm days.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Granddawg

I have written about a couple of cats, so now I must write about Polly's magnificent pooch, Petey. He is part standard poodle and part Southern hound, which is not a breed, but seems to describe one of his  parents. I only know Petey through pictures, videos, and the words of Polly. She did not mean to get a large dog, but the shelter told her that he was just the dog for her. He was about six months old when she got him, and was a big puppy. I think he looks quite beautiful. All of her friends love him, too  take care of him when she comes to Ohio to visit our cat dominated home.
His godfather is one of Polly's friends, who I think would like to steal Petey. His name is Paul Lisicky, and he was just awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship literary award. His latest book, a memoir  titled "The Narrow Door" has received glowing reviews from all the top lit critics everywhere. (He is one of the dog sitters, and has taken some very cool photos, including the one below, which shows off Petey's greyhound-like legs. This relationship makes Petey an obscure connection to fame, of course.)
When a portrait of Petey was posted on Facebook, my favorite comment was that he had a sincere face.