NauenThen

News

January 17, 2019

I decided to write a line or 2 every day about something in the news—& not take the easy out of detailing Yankees negotiations for pitching. It's been depressing. Shutdown, ugliness, financial disaster, Brexit. (The good thing about Brexit is it makes us not the only idiots.) I don't know how long I can keep it up.

But then this: 99 pieces of GOOD news from last year, assembled by Medium:
= Conservation (e.g., the Seychelles created a 130,000 sq km marine reserve in the Indian Ocean, protecting their waters from illegal fishing for generations to come).
= Global health (cigarette use in the U.S. dropped to its lowest level in 50+ years).
= Human rights (female genital mutilation has fallen from 57.7% to 14.1% in north Africa, from 73.6% to 25.4% in west Africa, and from 71.4% to 8% in east Africa).
= Living standards (For the first time since agriculture-based civilization began 10,000 years ago, the majority of humankind is no longer poor or vulnerable to falling into poverty).
.... & much much more (click on photo caption for the whole list)

Jury duty concluded

January 16, 2019

Under the boardwalk.
I finally got called for a voir dire at 3 in the afternoon. So sure I would at last get on a case. I guess I don't seem delicate & I'm not, not really, but it was a horrible stomach-turning crime & I just couldn't. The judge & lawyers were the kindest people ever in dismissing me, & a fellow juror gave me a hug & an Altoid. I walked home & felt cheerier, glad that someone can bear to take care of business like that, even if it turns out not to be me.

It's a 20 minute walk to Chinatown even if I was no longer on duty, so I kept my lunch date with a friend from karate who works in the courts, a happy, uxorious man, & now I'm OK except for a headache.

Doing my civic duty

January 15, 2019

This has nothing to do with the court, but we're not allowed to take pictures (they'd be boring anyway). So hot in here, I wish for ice & happiness. This was Coney Island a few days ago.
I kind of love jury duty. That is, I believe in it. I like meeting my fellow citizens, even though all I've done so far is watch one person's bag while she went to the bathroom. I would want people to take it seriously if I was involved in a case & they were on the jury.

That said, it is so frigging hot in here that I am about to pass out.

That could also be because I'm trying to understand (& translate into English) a scientific paper full of riveting information like this: "(DL: 14 [5.5%], SRD: 6 [2.4%], RF: 7 [4.5%], XPE: 17 [5.5%]). Using thresholds of 8 for the HADS-D and of 9 for the HADS-A, rather than 11, the number of participants with ...."

It was a nice walk downtown & we got to watch an inspiring video about jury duty. My brother, a lawyer, texted me: "I think it is one of the two crucial bases for citizen participation and respect for government. That and voting."

I've been on jury duty a dozen times but never made it through voir dire to get on a case. Why? M— thinks I have a sarcastic demeanor. Things have happened to me. It's hard for me to give neutral answers. Could be any of these reasons, or just bad luck.

I always think of my beloved father, who wanted so badly to be called for jury duty & never was. As a refugee & naturalized citizen, he knew better than most that he wanted to stand for justice. (more…)

Monday Quote

January 14, 2019

Tags: Matisse

Flowers from the aquarium. Look closely: see all the tetras?
There are flowers everywhere for those who want to see them.
~ Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse, good ol' Midwestern optimist. Me, I'm getting smacked down by a cold (allergies?) & kigami biraki yesterday. (KB is my dojo's official first training of the year—we do an hour of nonstop kicks & punches, then hear what Kaicho wants us to consider spiritually. This year: Wake up!)

And yet, I can't shake my inbred, ingrown orientation towards the positive. Or is it just a middle-class assumption that things will work out & I'll be OK?

At the Project: g e o d e s i c   l i n g u i x

January 11, 2019

Tags: Edwin Torres

This was a very strange event. I'm not sure I exactly liked or followed, but I felt like if I'd seen it 40 years ago it would have changed my work forever. Strange to have two such different reactions simultaneously. One problem was that it was impossible to hear any of the film's audio & the transcripts were small & went by too fast.

Here's what the Project said about the evening: (more…)

Lester Young

January 10, 2019

Tags: Lester Young

Hey I'm gonna listen to some jazz, I thought.

I chose Lester Young on a streaming service.

Wow, I'm digging this cat. Much more up my alley than I expected.

Johnny says, That is NOT Lester Young. Where's the sax? Where's Billie Holliday?

Whaddaya know, two Lester Youngs!

I won't say which one I l like better.

Busy week

January 9, 2019

Tags: Downtown Women for Change, Alessandra Biaggi, Deborah J. Glick, Kathy Hochul, Liz Krueger, Latrice Walker

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul "warmed up the crowd" (as she said later on Twitter). She was funny!
I suppose it's a January thing but I am crossing things off my to-do list at a mighty clip. This includes items that have been there for months, like going down to the Social Security office to reset my security code (yeah...) & buying sneakers (I overcompensated & got 2 identical pairs). I picked Johnny up from getting cataracts removed on Eye #1. I know it's not a big deal but seeing him with that giant bandage makes me weep. (I didn't think to take a photo, although he wouldn't have let me.) There was karate & work & winning HQ Trivia for the 4th time (but apparently not the grand prize of a new pickup; they would have called by now). There's a lot of staring at myself in the mirror as I get used to my new haircut. Downtown Women for Change's January meeting was focused on Albany, where the Dems now have a super-majority & should finally be able to pass the Reproductive Health Act, according to our panelists state senators Liz Krueger & Alessandra Biaggi, and Assembly members Deborah Glick & Latrice Walker.

I love my life.

Monday Quote

January 7, 2019

The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.
~ Umberto Eco

Doesn't this make you want to read Eco? It puts in mind The Good Soldier Shvejk & Oblomov & maybe A Confederacy of Dunces (which I never got very far in, to tell the truth)—characters unapologetically unable to deal with the world's insanity, responding by being obstructionist idiots.

Hair: before & after

January 6, 2019

Besides "looks good," I'm getting 2 responses:
= I need a haircut.
= Brave! To which I say: it's hair! it grows back!

The weight is gone. The constant tugging & tucking & tying away.

Johnny has his thinking cap on?

January 4, 2019

Another mysterious photo from the vault. Johnny as an alien? Johnny vs. the aliens? Johnny in costume? What the hell shirt is he wearing? Did he get caught mid-word or is he doing that on purpose with his mouth? Is this the man I married? That is, did I marry a man who looks like this? (Of course I did! I love this picture!)

"I will sleep in my little cup"

January 3, 2019

Here's Buster, resting on my head.
Thanks to my cat who's taken to galloping across the bed at 3 a.m. then nibbling my toes at 4, I have been short on sleep of late. Yesterday I fell out at 6:30, woke up around 10, read for an hour, & back to sleep as solid as an anchor till 6 a.m. I've felt good all day but ready for bed again (it's 4 in the afternoon)! I usually sleep like a machine so it's odd to be out of whack.

That's a Ron Padgett line that the Double Yews sang in our "Turkey in the Straw" version of Great Balls of Fire.

January 1, 2019

January 1, 2019

‎*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆
╔╗╔╦══╦═╦═╦╗╔╗ ★ ★ ★
║╚╝║══║═║═║╚╝║ ☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆
║╔╗║╔╗║╔╣╔╩╗╔╝ ★ NEW YEAR ☆ 2019!!
╚╝╚╩╝╚╩╝╚╝═╚╝ ♥¥☆★☆★☆¥♥ ★☆

from the 10-hour extravaganza of poetry & performance that's the annual Poetry Project Marathon.