Tuesday, June 28, 2016


A funny thing happened during the Gay Parade on Sunday:  my heart decided it needed a detour at the ER on Halsted, center of all things LGBT.  So, my loving "ambulance" man Chris was once again at the ready.  ("We've got to stop meeting like this!" and more important "There are no words to tell you how much I appreciate you.")

Turns out I have very low potassium so I guess in my case a banana a day could keep all of these docs away.  (The ER doc was dreamy.)  They also said that delirium is a symptom.  Did Bernie get the nomination?  Did Rahm resign?  Ah, delirium has its benefits, doesn't it?

So, now I am home and have to wear a heart monitor for a month.  This is a serious situation for a fashionista like me.  Help!  They say the monitor sends a signal directly to my doctor.  Is this a high-tech equivalent of the appointment that's so hard to get?

Thank you my lovely Marilyn for showing up to visit and take me home.  You lit up my life on a very difficult day.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

He's Back!

If you've read this blog through the years you may remember my feud (as if he cares) with Walter Mosley for killing off my favorite character Easy Rawlins, the hero of Mosley's earlier and better books.  My writer friend Rex and I discussed the idea that characters can take over a writer's life.  Rex suggested that maybe Mosley killed off Easy because he was tired of him and Easy wouldn't go away.

Well, Mosley has now brought Easy Rawlins back in his new book Charcoal Joe.  And, just for cover, he is teaming him up once again with another abandoned favorite -- the unforgettable Mouse.

So I ask the question: do authors get to slip the bounds of the ultimate inevitable?  As for me, I say "Okay, Walter Mosley, I give up and give in".  I will happily read Charcoal Joe.  I will follow Easy and Mouse to infinity.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

My Brexit Rant

I got into a little Facebook back and forth yesterday and I realized that I am not in step with even the people who I thought were living in the same bubble that I've been inhabiting for years.  Of course, it was about Brexit.

The "coming of the apocalypse"  coverage that we are getting from all of the news channels also woke me up.  Why is it that immigrants are losing their lives while fleeing for their lives; people are being massacred in one place or another; shootings and killings are occurring every day a few miles from me; to say nothing of climate change and all of the misery I haven't mentioned; and the only thing that warrants the "apocalypse" title is when the stock market falls and falls?

The rap is that Brexit is about keeping out "the other."  It's about toxic nationalism.  I think some very sinister types have realized they can seize the moment of unsustainable inequality and are jumping in front of a parade that was already marching.

The rap is that uneducated people voted for Brexit.  We want to be in with the smart people.  If the purpose of an education is to give you a leg up in a winner take all world, what's so smart about that?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I Love a Parade

Maybe the reason I was for Golden State is that I didn't think the Cavaliers could actually do it.  And, when they were down 3-1, I was sure the axe would fall.  Why be disappointed by another outcome, when the Sox and the Bulls give me all the grief I can bear.

So, now Cleveland is the center of the Universe and I am happy for LeBron.  Goodyear has a lot of nerve bragging about saying "Akron born."  That's what they have to say since they moved all of their jobs away years ago.

And no, the Cavs and not going to bring the jobs back.  And Tamir Rice is not cheering at the parade.  But, let's let the folks enjoy their heros with the same excitement Cubs fans will have if they ever crown their great season with the ultimate prize.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Against the Wind

Remember the Bob Seeger classic Running Against the Wind?  A line has been sticking with me:  "what to leave in . . . what to leave out." Writing is about that.  Every word is a choice.  I've been listening to a lot of writers lately, on C-Span (Q & A) and at the Chicago Lit Fest.  I am impressed by the amount of research they do.  Years in the archives at one library or another.

The archives are where everything is left in and it's the author's job to decide what to use.  Bob Seeger was singing about growing up.  The authors are crafting a good story.  Maybe Bob's line applies to both.  The more we hang around, the more there is to overlook or declare unimportant.
And, don't we want our lives to be a good story as we keep running against the wind?

Friday, June 3, 2016

At the Zoo

That gorilla death has me thinking about zoos. I think I am changing my mind.  I loved taking my children and then my grandchildren to the zoo.  A perfect way to spend a summer day.  Hippos and giraffes were my favorites.

Thoughts creep in.  Are any enclosures -- no matter how natural --  more than a cage?  Are any live creatures here for our amusement?  Does being entitled to capture or even kill them at will contribute to our disconnect from awareness that we too are on the animal continuum?

No, I'm not going to go all vegan and PETA on you.  My fur coats keep me warm at the bus stop.  But I also remember summer days spent at amusement parks where you could go into a dingy tent to see the "fat lady", the "lizard man", or Siamese twins.

Circus elephants are being retired and people are mad at Sea World.  Am I just catching up to this?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Elephants, The Gorilla and Me

My friend Yvonne sent me this story today.  She knew I would love it and I do.

Lawrence Anthony, a wildlife enthusiast, and author of The Elephant Whisperer, spent his life rescuing and working with animals all over the world.  When he died at his home in South Africa, thirty one elephants walked there, some from more than 100 miles away.  They stood silently at the home for two days and then returned to their territory.

I am content to enjoy the mystery of this event as it enlarges my concept of connections.

I've been reading all week about another animal event:  what happened with the gorilla at the zoo.  As I keep wondering why it happened I am left feeling very small.