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Thanksgiving poem

As I have done for years, I'm posting this poem on Thanksgiving. I am no longer even friends with the person who wrote it (as an email—I turned it into a poem, with just a few little changes), who became a Holocaust denier & all-round jerk. This reminds me that even an idiot know-it-all can have a tender side. I guess. Enjoy your holiday, my loves! 

Thanksgiving Almost Found Poem


Many years we go to my grandmother's in Virginia.
My mother, father, aunts and at least two of my brothers are there.
My son has a football game that morning.
My daughter is home, but needs to get back to school this weekend.
My wife doesn't want to ride for nine hours and turn right back.
Sometimes I have gone alone, but not often.
A couple of neighbors were vying for our company.
One of those my daughter's boyfriend's family,
Which we did last year and had fun.
But this year it will be another family,
One we have visited on two or three other Thanksgivings.
I have a turkey freezing in the garage.

Nothing to do with it.

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The end

Goodbye to my mod socks. Goodbye to lobster socks from Janet. I have many great socks but I still feel a twinge when I have to toss a pair. Does anyone darn a sock anymore? Can I buy a darning egg?* Do I know anyone who's ever darned a sock? 


* Holy shamoly. You can buy a darning egg at STAPLE'S. Darning eggs are everywhere. You can watch a video demo (you can, I didn't, her voice was too annoying). 


And YES, I just discovered I can change the font color. And size. 

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Monday Quote

A little credulity helps one on through life very smoothly. 

~ Elizabeth Gaskill


But not a lot or we wouldn't have the president we have. 


This reminds me of a Calvin & Hobbes panel, where Calvin says, "You know how Einstein's grades were really bad? Well, mine are even worse!" 

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November 22

No one born in the 50s or earlier can forget this date. It was also a Friday, that day in 1963. I was in 6th grade. I came back from lunch & some of the girls in my class ran up to me & said the president had been shot. It was only when they told Mrs. Wootten, that day's playground monitor, that I believed them—I knew they wouldn't make a joke to her. Not that it was anything to joke about but kid confusion sends our minds wherever. They let us out early & I remember flying home down Summit Avenue in fear: What would happen? 


The worst thing in the world is often never the worst. Or not as bad as it seems at the time. 


I've probably written about this before but my mother heard on the radio while she was driving. When her hands flew up in shock, she almost hit someone, who gave her a dirty look. I know that other woman's story about that day always included my anonymous mother.

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YAI has moved. Here we are in our big new digs, with our biggest class in a while, as 2 of our students who took a semester off to do golf are back, and someone else switched over from the Tuesday class. The best hour of my week is the time I spend with these students. They have so many challenges, intellectual & physical, & they work so hard. It's an honor—& fun!—to spend time with them. 

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Minnesota NICE

Lovely to stroll through the St. Paul conservatory with one of my oldest & dearest friends, talking talking talking as we have for more than 45 years, since we met in Maine, while seeing turtles, a giant anaconda, prehistoric ferns, &, of course, the gift shop. Seeing Janet is a bonus to visiting my family on this short but packed weekend. 

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Monday Quote

You really only know when you know little. Doubt grows with knowledge. 

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


I've spent time around teenagers lately & see how true this can be. They are certain even when they are proven wrong. Maybe what grows with knowledge is the humility to acknowledge that you don't know everything. 

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Listen, Phoebe


Listen, Phoebe, to the wind I've made for you 

out of ancient hopes & crushes

out of squirrels I hate birds I didn't

gather round to tell me my business


flashes that might be bugs at the side of my eyes

I jump away from things I do well

& things not worth doing

& things in gold on another man's rump


A wind that will find for you 

a silver needle in green glass & that cat


Listen, Phoebe, we will stay away

spend hour after hour 

wanting less until all that's life 

is love until all that's love is left

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We go to Brooklyn

It always feels like an adventure to get on that train. What could happen? (Yeah, we're hicks.) Johnny & I went to see an old friend in a play called Reparations, at the Billie Holiday theater. The production was good, the theater itself wonderful & friendly, Alex was the best I've ever seen her. The play itself, not so much. The cleverest part was to call it Reparations & not Blackmail. But go! Go to support a terrific local theater. Go to see the churches & streets of Bed-Stuy. 

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Lies lies lies

People trust leaders they vote for, according to studies discussed in "You really can fool some of the people, all of the time" (The Economist). "Because Mr Trump has abandoned so many traditional Republican policies, such as support for free trade and suspicion of Russia, the researchers concluded that it is personal: those who still call themselves Republicans support Mr Trump because of who he is, not what he stands for. And if personal loyalty trumps ideology, then voters may back a politician even if he does not tell the truth."


In addition, people aren't very good at spotting lies. Even people who should be, like cops, aren't. That's probably because we're born to assume that others are telling the truth. Why? Since most people tell the truth most of the time, it's more efficient to assume so. That is, if we had to check everything anyone says, we couldn't carry on the most basic conversations. And because we are hard-wired to assume that what we hear is true, we are therefore, says Tim Levine, author of Duped, "hard-wired to be duped." 


And there you have it, the reason so many people stick with pResident tRump. "He's my guy & that's all I need to know." They're not lying! 

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