Today they announced culmination of an extraordinary life. I can’t add any laudits not already heaped upon Yogi Berra. I can’t dig up a new Yogi-ism most people haven’t already heard, though, if you haven’t, yourself, dug up all of Yogi’s great sayings, do that.
We only spent a week together, and there were about a dozen other people there too, but we used to play spoons. She loved it.
During the day the young people at the farm would work either on the new dormitory or on the farm itself. Roles were somewhat traditional, I think. Vaguely.
Sometimes we would go into town with Father Dave and visit with families in his congregation. Charging out to greet us yelling “Father Dave! Father Dave.” Some of my reservations went away and since we were building things and making people happy, it seemed like a good place.
In the evening we would play “Spoons”. Sort of like musical chairs but I think we had to pick up a spoon and stick it on our noses; not really sure how to play the game, but the short girl with the weird name loved it.
I was the oldest of the volunteers. The staff was older, but that was pretty much just Jo and Father Dave. Murt wasn’t there for most of that week. Mike Mooney was a fun kid. Eileen was hot!
But increasingly the girl with the weird name and I spent more and more time together.
Then the week was over.
I got an invite to a party from Eileen when we got back home. She was at the university, but I couldn’t find her room.
Later I asked the short girl out. I don’t remember how much later, or how old she was. She was younger than I and pretty much pure in spirit, so to speak.
And she had this weird name.
We went out once. A Harry Chapin concert. He was late. 3 hours late. He said “I’m gonna play my ass off for you!” when he got there. And he did.
I loved the show. She loved that I loved it. Now that I think about it, she hadn’t known Harry Chapin.
But she was SO pure, I didn’t know how to touch her. So I treated her like a friend. Then we drifted apart.
It might have been a year later. Maybe 2. I saw her at the nude beach at Empire Lake, and I realized she wasn’t as innocent as I had thought. Apparently so did the guy she was with, they were both naked. I however, had modestly kept my bathing suit on.
We said “Hi”and went our separate ways.
One of us was stunned.
Recently I saw the unusual name on the Hawkcount report from the Hawk Watch. Next day I saw it again. Next Day I went up because its prime Broadwing season. I asked the two women if they were M, and they said no.
I stayed all day. Ran my mouth too much. Pissed off the counter and didn’t really contribute much beside a tan for myself.
When I got to the bottom of the hill, there was a woman with a row of hewn grass, a large straw hat and what looked like more hay on a reflecting blanket.
“Whatcha up to?” I asked
“Hayin. Scythe’n really. I cut it down and offer it to the animals at the farm.” She said, something like that. I was lost after “Scythe’n'”.
“Wow that’s a lot of work.”
“Its fun. And its good for you.”
“Reminds me of a joke I just heard on a podcast.”
“Don’t fear the Reaper. Fear the scythe!” She half smiled. Not knowing what to say. I said “Its not that funny really. Its just that you don’t see a scythe every day.”
“Its good exercise. Especially for me since I’ve hurt my back.”
“Wow. I would think just the opposite. That it would be hard on your back! All that raising and swinging”
“No! Just the opposite. You barely lift it off the ground.”
“I’m M” She said. Then she said her whole name. It was the girl from the lake and the Harry Chapin concert and the farm! Except she was 5’11”.
I told her of the girl I’d been wondering about. Asked her how she pronounced her last name, again, as the other girl had a highly unusual, short, last name. It was the same. Right down to the spelling.
So I asked her if she’d ever been to that farm. If I’d ever taken her to a Harry Chapin concert.
She was a little too young too. She’d graduated 11 years after I graduated HS. We talked.
She said she was the only M around. She has a sister but she’s younger. No cousins.
I COULD have been 24 when I went to the farm, and I think I was 22, but if this is her, she would have had to have been 14, and about 5 feet 2. I told her we were all HS and college kids. I couldn’t think of the word “mission” or “missionary”.
And she hadn’t gone to the farm, or to see Harry Chapin.
Could have been the same face though. 35 years later.
And she’s the only M with the same weird little last name. She said so herself. Shes Catholic, but from Vestal. Went to a different church which could explain how I could have met her at a missionary place and not known her before.
Sweet and easy personality. Open and gentle.
And 7 inches taller than the girl I took to the concert, but, by her own account, the only one with this name. And she didn’t remember me. Or Harry Chapin.
The first 1:21 were what I remembered seeing somewhere. I think it shows the unbiased science behind the idea of CO2 absorbing heat. They changed heat seeking missle calculations because they had to adjust for CO2 levels. They just did. No bias. Certainly not liberalism. They just wanted their heat seeking missiles to work.
I was out driving not too far away from home the other day, on a narrow country lane when I almost ran across this fellow. I’m not a naturalist, but I’d call him a snapping turtle. He was camera shy, but we had a meeting of the minds. Two cars travelled by while we were shooting, but they were patient and I even got a thumbs up.
Everybody saw the potential danger and went out of their way to give this snapper a wide berth.
I may have caused him to sit in the sun just a bit longer than he wanted, but maybe I protected him too. He looked like a piece of asphalt when I first saw him. Anyway, here are some picts of my snappy new friend.
I was looking for the lyrics to Jackson Browne’s “That Girl Could Sing”, to post on Facebook, because I thought it might be an appropriate answer to another FBFriend’s post, (Its really not that close to what I thought and didn’t post it, but I did go down a rabbit hole).
While there I found a YouTube “video” of Jackson Browne’s 10 greatest hits. I can’t name them all, but I put them on in the background while I was catching up with Facebook. As I got to the end of this poor idea, I became aware, that “The Pretender” wasn’t even in this guy’s top 10!
I was pissed. So I bitched about it in the comments and then post here now with the lyrics and a link to The Pretender. Everyone has their own opinion. Jackson Browne IS great. But come on …
Jackson Browne – The Pretender
I’m going to rent myself a house
In the shade of the freeway
I’m going to pack my lunch in the morning
And go to work each day
And when the evening rolls around
I’ll go on home and lay my body down
And when the morning light comes streaming in
I’ll get up and do it again
Say it again
I want to know what became of the changes
We waited for love to bring
Were they only the fitful dreams
Of some greater awakening
I’ve been aware of the time going by
They say in the end it’s the wink of an eye
And when the morning light comes streaming in
You’ll get up and do it again
Caught between the longing for love
And the struggle for the legal tender
Where the sirens sing and the church bells ring
And the junk man pounds his fender
Where the veterans dream of the fight
Fast asleep at the traffic light
And the children solemnly wait
For the ice cream vendor
Out into the cool of the evening
Strolls the Pretender
He knows that all his hopes and dreams
Begin and end there
Ah the laughter of the lovers
As they run through the night
Leaving nothing for the others
But to choose off and fight
And tear at the world with all their might
While the ships bearing their dreams
Sail out of sight
I’m going to find myself a girl
Who can show me what laughter means
And we’ll fill in the missing colors
In each other’s paint-by-number dreams
And then we’ll put our dark glasses on
And we’ll make love until our strength is gone
And when the morning light comes streaming in
We’ll get up and do it again
Get it up again
I’m going to be a happy idiot
And struggle for the legal tender
Where the ads take aim and lay their claim
To the heart and the soul of the spender
And believe in whatever may lie
In those things that money can buy
Though true love could have been a contender
Are you there?
Say a prayer for the Pretender
Who started out so young and strong
Only to surrender
Now this is not the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. But it was such a surprise that I ended up injuring myself and being fooled by the dumbest of cats.
Yes, a cat story.
You have to understand that this is the scardiest of scardiecats. To the point where she loses out because she always runs away. She’s 9, is Anya, and about 16lbs. But her girth has never been a factor. She screamed and ran from the time I brought her and her sister home. She has to smell my hand each time, before I’m allowed to pet her. Otherwise, she’ll just back away.
I’ve never struck this cat. Never hit her in any way, even as she was clawing the bottom of my 1960’s, floor to ceiling curtains.
Zander and Anya were like the two halves of Kirk, in that Star Trek where he is split in two. Good and bad. Brave and not so brave. Bold and timid. Zander would climb to the top of the curtains and walk the ledge of the window 8 feet up, when she was 8 weeks old. Anya would talk to her from the floor. I never let them outside, because I live on a busy Main St. Only Zander ever wanted to go out anyway. Anya watches from the window as I leave for work.
Zander used up her 1 life with cancer a few years ago, and left me with Anya, the totally not brave.
She screams for attention at notable decibels, and moves just out of reach when you reach for her. Not once in a while. Always!
Only in the last couple of years will she sit on my lap – she’s done this less than a dozen times since I’ve had her. And she’ll run away at the first sign that I may sneeze.
So I got used to it, and I would have to sneak up on her if I wanted to pet her.
Today, after being out all day, I came into the house and stood at the door. There was Anya, just out of reach. In my best menacing Captain Hook voice I said something like “So, I’ve got you now, Ha Ha! And I’m going to pounce on you at last” and I jumped at her with both feet, knowing she would retreat as I reached for her, if not out and out flee into the kitchen. Sometimes if I’m not too loud, if I’m slow, I can catch her and roll her onto her back and rub her belly. This she likes.
But the truth is, I figured I’d scare her today and I jumped toward her, hands out, full frog position … and she didn’t move, so my weight would have landed on my hands and my hands would have landed on her. I’d have crushed her. I tucked them down by my feet. My center of gravity was way too far forward. My hands back at my feet now protecting Anya from my threatening mass.
BANG, I hit my head on the floor. I saw a brief bright yellow and red flash and rolled onto my side preserving at least, her, life. She has always run. Always! Today she didn’t run.
I hit the ground hard, full on my forehead, wearing my Yuengling baseball cap, and I am currently raising a reverse “NGL” welt from the logo stitched into the front of the cap.
It feels as if this mark may stick around for Tuesday’s employment interview! So far no blood.
Right now she’s looking at me. Complaining. And standing 6 feet away.
His stature now grown by Republican operatives naming things after him and writing fiction about his greatness – doesn’t disprove what we all new then. Reagan was a failure and a fraud and a deeply fraudulent president who let his wife’s psychic dictate their schedule.
With all of the bad popping up, I wanted to reinforce this good thing. I think it is evidence of the best of humanity, and with all that we can recognize, in our gut, which is bad in the world. I thought some gut thing that is evidence of the best of us should get more publication.
So here it is. Enjoy it. Maybe you have seen it. Its not new.
It just moves me. I don’t even know the name of it or the language.
Mine was, I suspect, typical. The surprise was that my new boss was in from Chicago. I doubt he flew in just to let me go. (Side note – when my Dad got “let go” from GE, they called it a “Layoff” and indeed it was for in a year or so, the called him back.)
Its interesting to me that I don’t remember the exact language. He had a 1 on 1 scheduled with me (which he had postponed from last week because I had taken that day off). It said in the schedule the boss “will call … ” because we always did them by phone, he being in Chicago, and I usually called because I would go find a private room for a private meeting. Not everyone’s one on one is private, but I liked to have my one on ones in private.
So my boss was here and I said I wanted to look for a private room for our conversation, maybe one of the little conference rooms off the cafeteria. He said he already had one booked!
He said it was the “Main Conference Room”. That was a surprise. There’s a table in there that seats twenty! But no alarm bells went off. (I’m not as sharp as I used to be.) When we got there and the head of HR was there , I said “Its in use”. Like I said, not as sharp … When he said “No, we’re in here.” I finally figured out that it was my turn.
I think I said something like “So this is it then?” and I think they said yes. It wasn’t surreal. I wasn’t shocked or confused. I knew.
They’ve let so many people go, better people than I. People who had been there longer, and were more central to the place than I ever was, were let go. I wish I knew the numbers. There’s something over 500 people still working there, but there were 1100 when I started. I’ve heard it was 2000 at one time.
There’s still a strong manufacturing base. Three shifts still. But they’ve dispatched whole departments. Gone was the heart of the place, the Creative department. We used to bring in raw paper and ship out boxed calendars and organizers. One process, stem to stern. They removed the whole PrePress department (about which they’re back peddling now). They wiped out Marketing. Decimated Forecasting. Slimed Finance. More that I’m forgetting. And even in manufacturing they started with the 25+ year veterans and over and over removed and reassigned managers.
Let’s just say “Nobody worries about getting a good parking space anymore.” Park wherever you want, there are more spaces today than last week.
Its all typical corporate America. No malevolence. No malice. Not inhumane, just corporate. More and more work has been outsourced. Our company has either bought or been bought by another company at least every other year since I started. Each time, cash went to the new company, and somebody got fired. Many times it was the people in the other company. Many emails were sent that ended in “We wish them well.”
It was always boilerplate.
We always felt bad for them. When the first big layoff (see I said it) came, we were shocked. Some 200 people that we worked with everyday. All those 25 year managers. Poof. Gone!
I worked on a project where the one of the managers I was working with, was let go right in the middle of it. “Talk to so and so instead”. And I did, and brought him up to speed on my issues regarding the project, and then, they let him go. “Talk to so and so.”
And so it goes.
And so I’m gone. Its not personal. Its corporate. Who could ever confuse the two?
I like Eddie Murphy and pretty much all of the SNL exes, even Dennis Miller, but I would have thought this would have been a joke Eddie Murphy could have taken and gotten on with his life. Does a comic have an obligation to take a joke?
The David Spade sketch by the way “Hollywood Minute”, I had forgotten about, but now that I recall it, it was pretty acerbic – and pretty funny.
I guess it is at least consistent with his unwillingness to make fun of Bill Cosby.
Even Eddie Murphy can hold on to a hurt. Its like he’s Irish or something!