FUN WITH FAKE NEWS! – BY TOM CURLEY

This story just in from AP, UPI, Reuters, CBS, NBC, ABC, the Onion and other major news outlets.


Mass Resignations at White House.

2/23/2018

In a stunning development today, the entire White House staff has resigned including all senior and junior aides, as well as the entire domestic and administrative staff. A letter was sent to the President and released to the press stating, “We the undersigned employees, aides and staff of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue hereby resign, effective immediately. Our reasons, which are diverse, basically come down to, we just can’t take it anymore.”

Reporters immediately got statements from many staff members, who, in breaking from normal procedure, did not ask to be quoted anonymously. According to one staffer, “Who the hell cares? It’s not as if any of us work there anymore.”

The White House Switchboard is closed. Reporters trying to call it received the following message. “You’ve reached the White House. Don’t bother to leave a message. We’re all out and we ain’t coming back.”

The resignations include most of the President’s cabinet. EPA Secretary Scott Pruit was quoted as saying, “If I can’t fly first class, I quit.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters, “I actually stopped doing anything a few months ago. I spend most of the day watching Judge Judy and reruns of Madame Secretary.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was unable to be reached for comment. According to his spokesperson, “He’s gone back to his tree to make cookies”.

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Secretary of Housing Ben Carson could also not be reached for comment. Mr. Perry still can’t remember which department he works for or where it is. Mr. Carson was asleep.

The Secretary of Defense is staying on the job, mostly to, quote: “Keep that fucking moron away from the nuclear codes.”

The White House counsel Don McGahn was heard to say, “Hell, Perry Mason couldn’t keep this clown out of jail. I’m out.”

The staff is reported to have done several things before they departed. According to one source, “We took the labels off all the light switches. And the guy who handles the nuclear football replaced it with a suitcase containing a Remco Radar Rocket Cannon. He’ll never know the difference.”

The housekeeping staff is reported to have short-sheeted Trump’s bed, put shaving cream on the earpiece of the phone in the Oval Office, and nailed all the furniture in the Lincoln bedroom to the ceiling.

The head White House Chef was quoted as saying, “I’ve had it. I give up. I mean, I’m a 4 Star Michelin chef for Christ’s sake! And all I do is pour ketchup over burnt steaks! I once served him a gourmet hamburger that won a James Beard award. And do you know what he did? He threw it away and asked me to send out for McDonalds! McDONALDS! Are you kidding me?? Fuck him! I’m out.”

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump could not be reached for comment. They’re skiing in Colorado. Neither Donald Jr. or Eric Trump were asked for comments. None of the press outlets were interested in anything they had to say.

The formal resignation letter was delivered to the President’s desk at 9 AM. By noon, all the West Wing offices were vacant. The only remaining personnel are Steve Miller, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Hope Hicks. According to Hicks, “somebody has to steam the President’s pants.”  Miller was reportedly seen behind the White House pulling the wings off of small helpless insects. At 2 pm Sanders gave a press briefing to an empty White House press room.

According to a senior White House Correspondent, “Quite frankly, everything that comes out of her mouth is bullshit. So why bother? We just don’t care anymore.”

It has not been confirmed whether or not the President has seen the actual letter yet. It was reported on Fox News during one of the President’s “Executive Time-outs.” So far the President has only released one tweet: “Failing fake news says my whole staff quit! FAKE NEWS! SAD! All Hillary’s fault. Lock her up! NO COLLUSION!”

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is, however, still on the job

This is an ongoing story. Updates to follow.

-0-


Hey, it could happen.

Feel free to pass this along on all social media outlets.

Fake news. It’s not just for Russians anymore!

DIM PROSPECTS

GETTING VERY, VERY SLOWLY RICH … ?


We watched a TV show last night. Australian, I think, but they never actually say where it is. I just thought I saw a distant shot of Ayers rock in the background … but you just never know. The point is, the police were hunting for someone and there was this author who had published a lot of books for young adults.

She had earned her money and she had a mansion. It was the size of the New York City library on Fifth Avenue. Which is to say huge. I’ve seen smaller factories. Apparently she made all that money from selling books.

Today, I got an email telling me I had an automatic deposit from Amazon. I must have sold a book! You can never again say that authors don’t get rich selling books!

PROTECTING THE NEST AND OTHER WILDLIFE

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Wildlife


I’m proud of this shot. It took place so far away from me that all I could see was some white feathers in the sun. I just ran the lens as far as it would go and hoped I would get something. I did. A once in a lifetime shot of a swan defending his nest again incoming geese. Ultimately, the geese left the pond, but the swans lost their nest and eggs.

Protecting the nest — Incoming geese and nesting swan


On a less serious note, this week, Cee’s subject is wildlife. Although this probably doesn’t include The Duke, I think that might be an error. I’m pretty sure The Duke is a wild dog who decided it’s okay to live amongst humans where the food is better and you don’t get rained on while you nap.

Following are other wildlife I have encountered. Watch out for the lions and bears!

Lion – Roar!

Black-crowned-night-heron

 

Heron catching a fish

A bear and a mountain goat

Another bear

In glass

PREMONITION OR BUSTED?

PREMONITION?


It’s not really a premonition when you know you’ve been busted. On camera. At that point, your “premonition that something unexpected and not good” is going to happen is more of a lurking fear.

Sneaking along the dam. Wondering what they have planned? Not homework!

Pictures of sneaky teenagers supposedly in school trying to disappear down by the dam. Will their premonition become reality? It all depends on the photographer. Lucky kids because — hey, it’s no skin off my nose. I’ve always thought every kid deserves at least some sneaking around time. It’s part of growing up.

 

THE SIMPLICITY OF SLEEP AND WAKEFULNESS

COME SLEEP, O SLEEP …

Come, Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting-place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man’s wealth, the prisoner’s release,
Th’ indifferent judge between the high and low;
With shield of proof shield me from out the press
Of those fierce darts Despair at me doth throw!
O make in me those civil wars to cease!—
I will good tribute pay if thou do so.
Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed,
A chamber deaf of noise and blind of light,
A rosy garland, and a weary head;
And if these things, as being thine in right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me,
Livelier than elsewhere, Stella’s image see.

Sir Philip Sidney


I remember when going to sleep was simple. I changed into a nightgown or pajamas. I took off my jewelry. Brushed my hair. Brushed my teeth. Washed face and hands.  Plumped up the pillow, pulled up the covers — and went to sleep. Sometimes, I read for a while … and then fell asleep.

Last night, I went to bed. I did the whole nightgown, hair, wash, brush thing. Of course. Then I adjusted our electric bed trying to find the angle which would give me the least amount of pain in my back while keeping me sufficiently upright to continue to breathe.

I then took the various medications I take before bed — some for blood pressure, others for pain, and one for actual sleep. That was when I realized my rash was acting up. Damn. I put some cortisone cream on it, but that didn’t do it. So I went into the bathroom and used the other, stronger gunk. I stood there for a few minutes waiting for the gunk to dry, then went back to bed.

I realized I couldn’t breathe. I used the daily inhaler. Still couldn’t breath. Used the emergency inhaler — twice. Breathing restored, I realized my eyes were dry enough to feel like I had gravel in them. I found the eye-drops.

“Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch,” I said as the liquid hit the gravel. Garry couldn’t hear me. He had the headphones on and was deep in a western.

I tried another round of eye-drops. “OW!” I yelped. Two rounds of eye-drops later, the gravel had diminished. I realized I needed to do something about my incredibly dry lips. One round of chap-stick. Another round of chap-stick. One more round of chap-stick and by now, I’m wide awake. And my back was killing me.

I found the lidocaine cream. Applied it to my right hip. My left hip. Up and down the spine. Then — again — I waited for the most recent gunk to dry.

By now, a full hour had passed since I put on my nightgown and brushed my teeth. I had been sleepy, but by now, I wasn’t sleepy. Not a bit. I thought wistfully of those long ago days when going to bed was just … going to bed.

Worse, I still had to look forward to the thrill of getting out of bed. Convincing my legs and arms to wake up. Making sure my spine was going to let me stand  up and hopefully, walk.

Eyes – very dry!

The getting up ritual is a whole other thing, starting with around four in the morning when I start readjusting the bed. Because during the night, my spine will congeal into a solid lump of misery. I have to decide what — if any — medication will help. I have to be careful because I can only take a specified amount. If I take meds at four in the morning, I can’t take them later.

You get the idea.

Sometimes, the complexity of going to bed then getting up — first for medication and going back to bed. Next, rearranging the electric bed, trying to go back to sleep, hearing The Duke hit the door, knowing if I don’t get up and give everyone a biscuit he’s going to keep hitting the door until the door breaks or I get up and do the “Good Morning, beloved Dogs” thing.

Nothing is simple. Especially not simplest things.

WHY CAN’T THE TRUTH BE FUNNY? – BY ELLIN CURLEY

There’s a common theme that runs through most sitcom episodes. And it hasn’t changed since sitcoms were first available on the radio. Lying. Humor is far too often based on people lying to one another – usually family members or close friends. The rest of the sitcom plot revolves around the liar trying to keep his lie a secret and the “lie-ees” getting close to discovering the lie.

At the end, the liar is exposed or the liar comes clean and realizes that he or she shouldn’t have lied in the first place. This is the synopsis of most “I Love Lucy” shows, as well as those of “Modern Family” today.

So why can’t anyone remember the lesson that lying doesn’t pay, from one episode to the next? Why can’t the sitcom producers and writers find something else in life and human relationships to laugh about?

I’m concerned about the prevalence of lying on sitcoms because children watch sitcoms. There’s no sex or violence so they’re assumed to be kid-friendly. But I think that it’s toxic to expose children to lying as the preferred way to deal with the people around you. It puzzled me growing up why grown-ups told me how bad it was to lie but then they all did it, every single week on TV.

Telling the truth on sitcoms must be like Kryptonite to TV writers. This gives kids a warped idea about relationships. It tells them lying is the common, accepted way to communicate. It says “Beware of the truth – it will get you in trouble every time!” Worse — the truth isn’t funny.

It reminds children that that the world is a scary and unpredictable place. You can’t trust grown-ups. Chances are they’re not telling you the truth about anything – from the inconsequential small stuff to the important big things. Children need to believe the grown-ups around them can protect and buffer the world for them.

Sometimes it’s not true, but children need to believe it. Like they need to believe in some version of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy at some stage of life. I don’t think it’s healthy for children to absorb mistrust from the comedies they watch. I think this is what happens when sitcom people automatically lie rather than deal with the truth. It is also annoying to watch as it is the same plot repeated through every year of television.

Lying is ubiquitous on TV comedies and therefore I believe, insidious. Today’s kids are already so much more sophisticated, and at younger ages than they were in my generation. So let’s not teach them too early that lying should always be your first choice. Let’s not convince them that truth is to be avoided at all costs. Let them get through childhood before they become dishonest and jaded.

IMAGINATION, REALITY, AND GETTING YOUR PERSONAL ROCKET OFF THE LAUNCH PAD

Just Imagine


I’m sometimes slightly hazy about the rough parts of what happened in my life. It isn’t that I have no grip on reality. More that time has a way of softening the edges of hardest truths and making them less edgy.

I seem to have imagined away a lot of the worst stuff. These days, it’s more dreamy. Less like the haunted awfulness of youth. Some of the really bad stuff I worked through. Writing my book was unquestionably one of the major ways I worked through it. It seems I’m better at settling my emotional hash writing about it than talking about it.

Even the people I once hated … I don’t hate them anymore. I don’t like them, either, but they are just people now. I have a distaste for them and I certainly am not going to have a party and invite them round for cookies and tea … but the edge of rage and obsession is gone.

That’s imagination. The ability to see myself as having come from a bad place to a better place. A kind of Christian forgiving, where I recognize it isn’t my job to fix the ugliness of my world. What remains is for some higher power to take on — and good luck to him, her, or them.


Imagination made it possible for me to survive growing up, to try unknown things without dwelling on what might happen if I got it wrong. To believe that things that looked bad might not stay that way and the worst might get better if I stuck around.


Imagination is not merely making up stories. Imagination is the fuel of hope. It’s the big engine under your personal rocket lifting into the sky.

ODDBALLS WHILE FEBRUARY ENDS IN A PILE OF MUD

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: February 25, 2018


I should be grateful that all this precipitation is rain rather than snow. Someone calculated that if this were snow, it would be more than two feet … and that would make me even sadder than the mud field out front. It really IS ugly, though.

Coffee?

It’s the dog’s yard, so it probably wouldn’t be lovely anyway, but all the rain has melted away any remnant of grass that might have been there. The frequent wind storms have left a far larger collection of branches and twigs there, too. There’s a lot of cleanup to do when finally, it isn’t raining, snowing, or sleeting.

Candles. No wind. 

It’s the kitchen!

Posters in a museum – The Babe Ruth Special

Kiwi, ginger, and a few cookies

BRUSHES WITH FAME – BY ELLIN CURLEY

My grandparents, parents and I have crossed paths over the years with some famous people. I grew up hearing stories about people I had heard about in the news and in the popular culture.

For example, at one point, in the early 1900’s, my grandmother lived in a tenement building in the Jewish section of the lower east side of New York City. A cousin of hers lived in the same building. This cousin had a piano. The cousin also had a neighbor whose son was a talented pianist. The problem was that the neighbor didn’t have a piano. So the son, Georgie, would go to my cousin’s apartment to practice piano. Often people gathered at the cousin’s to listen to Georgie play. He was that good. My grandmother went often. Georgie’s full name was George Gershwin.

George Gershwin

In the late 1930’s and early1940’s, my mother pursued a career in the theater in New York City. She studied acting at the Actor’s Studio with people like Karl Malden, Susan Strasberg, Stella Adler, Buddy Epson, Gypsy Rose Lee and her good friend, Judy Holliday. The actors hung out with each other at night, often performing for each other. Many famous comedy routines, like Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks’ “2000 Year Old Man” were created and honed at these parties.

My mom particularly remembers watching Zero Mostel, in person, in a living room, perfect his famous imitation of a percolator. He also did imitations of other household appliances. It’s a hilarious bit and I was thrilled to get to see it performed on television after hearing about it from my mom.

Zero Mostel

Judy Holliday was originally Judy Tuvim and my mom was Ethel Tumen. Judy changed her last name to Holliday and mom took Diana Charles as her stage name. Both girls were asked to come to Hollywood for a screen test. Both were told that they had to lose ten pounds because the camera made you look heavier. So to celebrate the test and mourn the diet, they went out for a last malted together. Soon after, my mom got rheumatic fever and was an invalid for two years. After that, she had to give up dancing, tennis and acting. Judy went on to a stellar theater and movie career until her untimely death at 46 of breast cancer.

Judy Holliday

Gypsy Rose Lee was the stripper that the musical “Gypsy” was based on. She was a passionate progressive politically and got my mother involved in protesting on behalf of the nascent labor union movement. One day, when they were picketing for the unions, a fight broke out near them and the police moved in. Gypsy got mom out before people started getting arrested.

Gypsy Rose Lee

Stella Adler was a theater actress who later became a famous acting teacher in New York. She was very well-known within the theater community. I have two quotes from her that are worth repeating. At one point, she was giving my mother advice on how to dress to make an entrance and get attention. She told Mom to “Make sure that you wear the dress and the dress doesn’t wear you!” Great advice for anyone, in any era.

The other Stella Adler quote requires a little explanation. For a time, the Yiddish Theater in New York was dominated by two Jewish families, the Adlers (Stella’s family) and the Abramsons (my family). A famous Adler had an infamous affair with an equally famous Abramson. So when Stella was asked how she knew my mother, she replied, “We’re related by bed!”

Stella Adler

In 1948, Alger Hiss was accused of being a Soviet spy. His indictment and trial was a huge story. Hiss vehemently protested his innocence for the rest of his life and many people believed that he took the fall in order to protect someone else. His case also catapulted an unknown Congressman named Richard Nixon to national fame.

Alger Hiss was my father’s patient. So my father knew the true story – he was protecting his son, who actually was an agent for the Soviets. The son wrote a damning piece of correspondence on his father’s typewriter, and this document became the lynchpin in the State’s case against his father. I checked Wikipedia and this is still considered to be an unsolved mystery, although historians are now tending to believe in Hiss’s guilt.

Alger Hiss

The musician, Artie Shaw, was another famous patient of my father’s. One of Shaw’s claims to fame was that he was married to Ava Gardner after she divorced Frank Sinatra.

Artie Shaw

I’m sure my father told us many of Shaw’s fascinating stories about Hollywood in its heyday. But the only one I remember is purely prurient gossip. Artie Shaw told my father that one of the reasons Ava Gardner left Sinatra after a short-lived marriage, was that Sinatra was not very good in bed. He apparently had trouble getting and maintaining erections and Ava Gardner had no patience for less than stellar performance in the bedroom.

Artie Shaw and Ava Gardner

Another Hollywood connection my parents had was their friendship with a movie and theater producer named Henry Weinstein. He was apparently one of the few people in Hollywood who could work effectively with and ‘handle’ Marilyn Monroe. He was the producer of the movie she was working on at the time of her death, “Something’s Got To Give”.

Marilyn was in a very bad place emotionally when she was working on this movie. To make a bad situation worse, her regular therapist and 24/7 hand holder was out-of-town on vacation for several weeks. Even Henry was having trouble with Marilyn. She would show up to the set late, if at all. She had trouble remembering her lines and required an obscene number of takes for every scene. She required constant TLC to get her through the day.

Henry Weinstein and Marilyn Monroe

Henry was getting desperate. He called my mom, who was a psychologist, and pleaded with her to come out to LA to help Marilyn. My mom refused because she believed that Marilyn was beyond out-patient help.

Marilyn had also recently been banned from seeing anyone in the Kennedy clan. She was feeling isolated, rejected and alone. Henry said that she sought solace in an affair with the script girl on the set. This was her last relationship. Henry had to fire Marilyn from the movie for excessive absenteeism a few weeks before her death.

Henry’s wife, Irena, was staying with us in Connecticut when Marilyn died in August of 1962. Irena got a call from Henry telling her of Marilyn’s death before the news was reported on TV or in the press. The press kept trying to reach Irena at our house in the hopes of getting more information about Marilyn. So we had to say ‘No Comment’ to multiple callers from the news media.

Henry and Marilyn

My own brush with fame came before the person became famous. There was a Black scholarship kid in my high school class named Gil Scott Heron. He was a bright, charming and talented young man who went on to become a well-known soul,d jazz poet, and musician. He was also considered the godfather of rap, specializing in political and social topics.

But when I knew him, he was a mature and rather worldly teenager. He started hanging out with me at school and often called on the phone to talk. One day, in our senior year, he asked me out. I really liked him but I turned him down. This is going to sound silly, but I only wanted to date Jewish boys. So I turned him down, not because he was Black, but because he wasn’t Jewish. So ironic and clearly my loss.

Gil Scott Heron

I also went to elementary and high school with Jeffrey Katzenberg, the studio executive and film producer. His older sister was my good friend for several years and we all took the same bus to school. Jeffrey was the one kid who always made the whole bus wait for him. He was always late or he would forget something and would have to go back upstairs to get it. Everyone on the bus hated him. He obviously had ADD or ADHD as a kid. He still has it as an adult and I’ve read that his staff have to go to great lengths to work around it.

Jeffrey Katzenberg

My parents were good friends with the mother and step dad of “Saturday Night Live’s” Chevy Chase. I went out on one terrible date with Chevy Chase’s brother and was in therapy with his step father for a while. I was shocked to read Chevy’s autobiography and find out that the gentle, quiet step father who I knew as a friend and a therapist, was actually a brutal, autocratic, abusive sadist! You never know what goes on behind closed doors.

Chevy Chase

My parents were also old friends with the author, Howard Fast and I went out a few times with his son as well. That son went on to marry Erica Jong, for whatever that’s worth!

Howard Fast’s most famous book

So these are some of my family’s brushes with fame. Most of them are pretty minor, but the stories were cherished by the family and retold often. They are part of the family lore. So they get a blog of their own.

THE 7-DAY BLACK & WHITE CHALLENGE – DAY 7

Here’s the challenge:


Black and White Photography Challenge: Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.

Since I’m an old time player at this game, I’m letting people in as long as it’s not a portrait and not the primary part of the image.

I invite you to consider giving this challenge a try, even if you’ve done it already. An extra push to do better photography is good for your art. Moreover, finding a black & white picture that somehow represents “you” in a visual way poses an interesting challenge — an artistic double-whammy, so to speak. At least one of the pictures I used in the first round of these challenges turned out to be one of my most popular-ever posts.

Who’d have thunk it.

This challenge comes from Luccia Gray at “REREADING JANE EYRE.

For this final day, what may be (I dearly hope) the final snow of the season. Just a little piece of a little snow.

Snow on the deck

Anyone who would like to participate, you may link to any of the seven posts in this set and please, have fun!

CONGREGATING IN THE SLOW LANE

It turns out, there are a lot of variations of congregate meaning “to get together, join together, group together, party hearty.” With some fish, it also mean joining in union to make baby fish. Or is that conjugate?

But, there is no word which means “someone who congregates.” No congregator. Congregationalist? Do you have to join a group for that?Way back when, in the days when I had energy, enthusiasm, and I genuinely liked most people, I was enthusiastic about “getting together.” I was considered sociable and I almost agreed with that. I was never quite as sociable many thought. I was a party “edge person.” I would look for whoever was standing along at the edges of a party and engage them in conversation. I never like big groups of people in one place because you couldn’t have a conversation with anyone when everyone was there.

I made exceptions when I gave the party because if it was my party, I didn’t expect to engage in conversation. Party giving was more about flitting about and making sure everyone else was having a good time. I gave a few good parties through the decades (generations?), but mostly, I preferred having a friend or two or three — and a great conversation about everything.

Remember conversations that lasted until dawn? We covered philosophy, government, the meaning of life. Travel to the stars, reincarnation and the best books we’d read lately. No one got bored or left out.

Later, people got old. Died. Drifted into a world of their own, moved to senior housing “somewhere near their kids” which was always hundreds of miles from us. Others simply drifted. What we had in common — work was big — it was not relevant when we all had mostly quit working.

Those of us with functional marriages who really liked our partners have been the lucky ones. Singleness is fine when you are active enough to travel and gad about, but these days, it’s an abiding joy to have a partner whose hand you can hold while you watch old movies, cuddled by dogs with cold noses.

We’ve been talking lately about how few friends we have remaining. This isn’t unusual at our age. People leave and don’t come back. Many others don’t like traveling. Or driving any distance. More don’t like going places with which they are not familiar. Everyone like their own bed. If you have pets, it gets increasingly difficult to find someone to take care of them when you aren’t there.

We still have friends. They are old friends. Friends forever. Who knew the people we used to know and share memories of the times through which we’ve lived. Have common political and philosophical beliefs — and hopefully enjoy the same movies!

CULTURE SHOCK – RICH PASCHALL

Travelling to America, Rich Paschall


You might think that anyone who moves to a new country might be in for a bit of culture shock.  If the person is coming to America from a wealthy Western European nation, Norway let’s say, you may not expect the shock to be too great.  After all, aren’t we as advanced as any of the other leading nations of the world?  Would we not seem as modern and progressive as anywhere else?  If we leave the political situations out of the equation, you might think those from the most prosperous of countries would feel at home here.  Of course, if their nations are modern, prosperous and progressive, you might wonder if there is much interest in emigrating here.  I have not met any new Norwegians in the neighborhood.

Arriving at Chicago O’Hare

What of those coming from South or Central America, for example? Would the architecture astound? Would the museums and parks enthrall?  Would the restaurants, night clubs and bars amaze? Would the typical tourists spots excite?  Let’s say you are coming to Chicago. Would you be blown away by the skyline? Would the Planetarium be out of this world? Perhaps the things that we would think provide culture shock are not those things at all. So we have a giant bean in the park (Cloud gate, actually), will this surprise a new resident?

In a world where the internet is just about everywhere, a new resident, no matter what part of the planet he or she comes from, would likely have researched the new destination. The immigrant would have seen the famous locales, and then it is only a matter of visiting in person what has been seen online. The tourists spots and infamous towers were already known. They may provide some momentary amazement but no surprise and certainly no culture shock. No, it is other things that brought shock to my new South American roommate. Surprisingly, they were in my home.

Adler Planetarium

For a couple of months I saw my roommate peel potatoes with a large knife. I never thought much of it until one day I realized he should be using the potato peeler. So I got it out of the drawer and took a potato from him and showed him how I do it. Yes, this was one of the many culture shock moments. My kitchen was filled with little gadgets that were not common to a poor household in South America. Imagine what you have in your kitchen that would be a surprise, even a shock to others.

“Rich!” my mate called out one day.  I came running, so to speak, (OK, I wasn’t actually running) as if something was wrong in the kitchen. We had recently been to the supermarket, another culture shock, where roomie had picked out some cans of tuna in oil. He showed me the can and his face told me the problem. They just did not buy canned goods in his area. Getting into a can was a mystery. I handed him a can opener but he returned it with the best “What the hell do I do with this?” look. This gave me the opportunity to demonstrate the fine art of the can opener. While we now know how to open cans, we also had to learn that we do not drain off the oil into the sink. This is why I save certain jars.

While the kitchen is filled with unique gadgets, I did not expect that the coffee maker was one of them. I guess what I have is non-traditional. It is a Hamilton Beach that has a reservoir on top and you dispense the coffee like a pop machine by depressing the lever. Roomie told a neighbor I did not have a coffee maker with a coffee pot. The nice neighbor gave him one for Christmas.  Now we have two perfectly fine coffee makers. I was shocked to find a guy from Colombia who does not know how to make good coffee. Fortunately he does not read me so I can continue to insist his weak efforts at coffee-making are just fine. I have tried to buy coffee that mentions “Colombia” on the package as one of us thinks it is the only good coffee in the world. I do not wish to shock him with coffee from other lands.

He has, of course, seen microwaves, but never actually had one. He had a television with a remote, but not multiple remotes for multiple devices. I am still trying to get him to use the on and off buttons for the satellite remote. The “on” button will turn on the satellite box and TV and when you hit it again it will turn off the television. I frequently find the box is still on while the TV is off. Getting television from other countries was no surprise, but I guess the amount of them is a bit of a shock.

The stove is rather interesting, I guess. It is not two burners hooked to a giant propane tank. It is five gas burners  I have been unsuccessful in explaining that the flame is not just on or off, but you can control the level. Everything is cooked with a high flame which usually means we have another in-home annoyance. The smoke detector is shocking every time it goes off, which is just about every time roomie cooks.

The biggest shock to date is the weather and the temperature indoors and out. The house is not a comfortable 85 degrees during the day as it is in his homeland. Now that my warm weather room-mate has figured out what the up and down arrows on the thermostat are for, I am usually in for a shock when I come in the house from outside. Thankfully it is a programmable thermostat and resets periodically. Wait until he finds out how 85 feels in Chicago in July or August when the humidity is high. Yes, the culture shock will keep coming.

 

THE CHANGING SEASONS – FEBRUARY 2018

As February is ending, it is time for another “Changing Seasons” post. I haven’t gotten the alert, but I’ve been doing this for two years, so I don’t have a problem doing it again.

It has been a truly dull month for photography. A little bit of snow, a lot of rain. Some very warm, shirtsleeve weather, then a little more snow. February and March are the two most erratic months for weather in this region.

February is often the worst month for blizzards and really heavy snow and just because the month is almost over, it’s much too early to stow your winter gear.

This is one of those weird months where it feels like any number of seasons. Today was springtime. I was outside taking pictures in my dress. Not even a sweatshirt. Garry went out in a hoodie and felt he was overdressed.

But tomorrow, we’re expecting a few inches (more? less?) of snow.

A chilly gray day

I have not taken many pictures this month. Everything has been boringly grey or mud brown, with a little snow occasionally to brighten it up. Not very exciting for a photographer.

But — some months are not terribly interesting. I’m just grateful we didn’t get three feet of snow!

Rules — not etched in stone:


Do you want to participate in «The Changing Seasons»?
These are the rules for Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

  • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
  • Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
  • Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

These are the rules for Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

    • Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
    • Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
    • Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

Hosted this year by: Zimmerbitch – Age is just a number