THE BAY IN THE BACK

This is a nice little piece of Boston history. Most people don’t realize almost all of modern Boston began as landfill projects. I believe Back Bay was the first major city area built on landfill.

This is Real Life.

boston_1630_1675The year was 1630. They looked across a swampy bay that seemed somewhat eerie in how quiet it was. They could see their boats in the distance bobbing up and down in their newly made harbor. The smell of the mud and animals wafted up toward them as they stared into the future of what this land could behold.

Almost 400 hundred years later, I looked across the same water. It was in a very different shape now; wrinkles and hills still shaping the streets of the old city. Boston has been shaped and melded into an industrial, financial, and scholarly city that is very different from its beginnings.

I was taken to Boston the new-fangled way, a very different trip than the first settlers. Boston Logan International Airport is fairly atypical for a large city because it’s so close to downtown. It took a quick subway ride to get to…

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LIKE DRY LEAVES

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I am not as nostalgic about the past as most people. I had a difficult and often unpleasant growing up and it’s hard to put aside the unhappy child to find happy memories. They get tangled.

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It is in the autumn where whatever good memories exist continue to live. That perpetual autumn I can sometimes smell in the air this time of year. It is probably why I love this season. Fall signals the return to school and what passed for “normal” in my world.

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I was a New Yorker. I’m sure it was cooler there 50 plus years ago than it is today. Especially in the fall.

And, I loved school. I know this was not a popular point of view in the kid world, but I loved it. Home kind of sucked. School was better. Orderly. I had assignments. Things to learn. Teachers didn’t beat students and there were very few moments of sheer terror to cope with. Unlike home. In generating fear, schoolyard bullies were amateurs compared to my father.

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The thing I remember best and most fondly were the sound of the leaves crunching under my squeaky new leather shoes. The shoes always gave me blisters, no matter what salesmen in stores told my mother about the perfect fit. I don’t know why she believed them when they told her the shoes fit, but never believed me when I told her they hurt.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

SHARING MY WORLD ON THE LAST DAY OF SEPTEMBER

I can’t believe it’s the end of September. My head is spinning with the swift passage this year from spring through summer … with a trip to nightmare caterpillar attack in the middle.

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Exactly one year ago … the colors weren’t up yet then, either. Next week.

Well, it is here and no way around it. I love the fall, though it doesn’t look much like it yet. Still not much color showing around here, but probably more in town … which is where we will go over the weekend. Right now, we are still trying to keep Garry warm and cozy while his cold goes away.

And now …

A class you wish you would have taken?

Honestly? I can’t think of one. I pretty much took whatever I felt like, which is why it took me a long time to finish a degree, what with changing majors three (four?) times. Sometimes, I’m not clear on what my major finally turned out to be. I think Drama. Or maybe Speech. Possibly both?

What’s your favorite comic figure and why?

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Always have had a soft sport for the Supe. He could fly. If he flew very fast against the earth’s rotation, he made time go the other way, as in backward. No one would do that again until Captain Kirk did it in Star Trek. But Superman did it first and he didn’t need no stinking starship!

Name something you wish you could like.

Soy curd. Can’t stand the stuff. I wish I didn’t hate it, but I really do. Yuck.

Tell me about your first crush / first date / first kiss.

No, I don’t think so. Especially since I don’t actually remember who it was, when, or what the circumstances might have been. The one thing I’m sure of was that it was remarkably unimportant. Even when it happened.

Who was your best friend when you were 10?

Mary (left), Marilyn (middle), Carol (right). I think we were about 6 or 7.

Mary (left), Marilyn (middle), Carol (right).

Carol, from next door. From when I first moved into the neighborhood until we finished high school. College changed everything. I was her best friend, but she was not mine. Sometimes, it’s like that.

What sign are you? Do you believe in astrology?

I am a Sun in Pisces, Moon in Scorpio, with a Rising Leo conjunct Saturn (Pluto in the first house). Just saying.

Marilyn's Horoscope

Share Your World – 2016 Week 39

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ROUND AND ROUND – CEE’S B & W PHOTO CHALLENGE

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Circles and Curves


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From the watch on your wrist to the clock on the tower … from the wheels of your car, to the wheel that spins the thread. Inventing the wheel was one giant step for human technology. It is the basis of pretty much every else, in one way or the other.

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DOUBLE TROUBLE – THURSDAY SPECIAL

Thursday’s Special: Double


When you have two black Scottish Terriers that you, yourself have trouble telling apart at a quick glance, double is what you see. The two pups together are more obviously different. Gibbs is bigger, longer, and lower. He’s more “doggy” and Bonnie is more “bitchy” which is as it should be. Gibbs is stronger and more gracefully athletic. Bonnie is bouncy, cheerful, the happiest dog in this best of all possible worlds, the Candide of small dogs.

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And then there are the swans and the geese. Both mate for life and you will rarely see one bird without the other nearby.

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THE PROBLEM WITH TRUMP – THE NEW YORKER

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One of the more positive side-effects of this awful election has been that I have found myself back in the folds of “The New Yorker.” Not only because they have the best cartoons of any magazine anywhere and only partly because they have Andy Borowitz whose satiric pieces always make me laugh out loud. Good laughs have been hard to find this year and I think it will only get worse.

No, they also have some really good movie and book reviews plus political commentary. And above all, I agree with them. I know I’m not supposed to admit that I really like reading stuff with which I agree, but there it is. My guilty secret. If I agree with it, and it’s witty, well-written … and I wish I had written it … then it’s even better.

Take a look at this article by Adam Gopnik, The Problem With Trump Isn’t His Debating Skills. I found myself nodding and mumbling “yes, yes, yes” until I got to the closing lines. Then, had I not been sitting in my living room with only my dogs to wonder if I’d lost my mind, I would have cheered. Because he said this:

Pass over quickly, for the moment, Trump’s notion that contracts are to be respected depending only on the wayward autocratic impulse of the richest party to the contract. Think, instead, again, of one of the last subjects of the debate—his misogyny. By sexism, we mean something specific, not the business of appreciating beauty—if Trump wants to host beauty contests, let him—but the habit of conceiving of a woman as being a lesser species, one defined exclusively by appearance. His cruelty to Alicia Machado was unleavened by any apparent respect for her as a human being in any role other than as an envelope of flesh—an attitude he only doubled down on the following morning by complaining that she presented what he saw as an obvious problem as a reigning Miss Universe: she had gained “a massive amount of weight” (by Trump standards, that is). Again, this wasn’t a problem of how he chose to present his beliefs; the problem is with the beliefs. This wasn’t a question of preparation. It was that the things he actually believes are themselves repellent even when coherently presented. This was not a bad performance. This is a bad man.”

I couldn’t say it any better. I’m not sure anyone could say it better.

SWAG-WEAR FOR ALL

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Just as self-publishing has redefined authorship for many people, so has the “design-your-own” clothing business changed what we wear. Specialty shirts for teams, schools, and organizations have long been an industry, but in recent years “swag wear” has become ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. There’s slogan clothing for anything you can think of. And a whole bunch of stuff you would never have thought of.

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You can find a commemorative shirt for movies, authors (living and dead), as well as every book and concert tour … not to mention TV shows and their individual characters, historical, alive, or fictional — and any combination of the aforementioned.

I don’t remember exactly when tee-shirts with clever sayings became the clothing of choice for everybody, but if I had to take a guess, I’d say about 30 years ago.

Marilyn and Garry by Bette Stevens

Marilyn and Garry by Bette Stevens

That’s the first time I remember buying a tee-shirt that had people stopping me on the street so they could read it. It gave humorous definitions of world religions as they relate to the word “shit.” The only problem was it took a while to get through all the words, so I had to stand there and wait for people to finish reading.

Since then, the world has burst into a blooming bouquet of slogans and logos on all kinds of clothing, though not yet (but never say “never”) on business suits. It will happen. Just please, not yet.

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Somewhere along the line there came into my world “CustomInk” who can make anything you want in the way of a tee-shirt, sweatshirt, mug, mousepad, pen, calendar, or poster. You name it, they can put your design on it.

Use a photograph, drawing, or use the company’s design tools to create something that says “me” or “you.”  I’ve done both. I’ve designed special shirts as Christmas and birthday presents … and of course for Serendipity because … well … why not? Of all the enterprises in which I’ve participated throughout my life, this one is the most “me.”

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There are hundreds, probably thousands of places doing custom design and printing. CustomInk happens to be the one with which I have worked. Despite sticker shock, I’ve never been disappointed with the quality of the product. I tend to reward companies that do good work by continuing to give them my work … however little it may amount to in the overall scheme of things.

Since the subject in this week’s “Discover” challenge is essentially “clothing that defines us,” what could possible define us more than unique clothing we design and create?

I should also point out what I kick I get out of designing stuff. I’ve always enjoyed design, whether it was illustrations for a technical guide, a book cover … or a tee-shirt. There’s a special satisfaction in designing apparel. It’s not high fashion, but it’s my fashion. These days, you don’t have to wait for someone else to come up with your perfect fashion statement.

You can make your own statement. Using your own words and pictures.

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