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Maybe dating myself with that slogan, huh?

It doesn’t even really apply to this photo array, but the point is, can you tell which is the real shot?

And really, the point is: it was a beautiful morning around the arb. So grateful for my twice weekly, forever walks with Vicki (when we also see other-Vicki and Steve). How lucky are we?

Here’s the thing: Feels like we are mucking around in the deepest do do of our lives. We are one week away from an election we’ve been waiting for for four years (yeah, that was three homophone thingies in a row) to elect somebody who will hopefully bring us back from the edge of the abyss. And we’re in the middle of a pandemic that is again surging like nobody’s business all over our country and the world. And today was the swearing in of a new extreme ideologue justice, just eight days from said election. A breathtaking, hypocritical power grab. And loads of other stuff besides. It’s all so much and all so heavy I just feel like I’m in a constant state of jitters and anxiety.

And, forebodingly, I actually sat in a meeting tonight where we watched a presentation on how to respond to a coup. Ninety one of my fellow Davis activists sat on a Zoom call, some of us were drinking wine, some of us had cats in our laps or children doing homework in the background. I had dinner in the crock pot ready to go soon as I got off the call. Normal people on a Monday evening, talking about coups. It was an incredibly smart and sober discussion that was also surreal and shocking. And it’s a real possibility that people are actually gaming out. Over a hundred national organizations have joined a coalition and are training and preparing their folks in the not-unlikely event that the president will do something crazy following his near-certain loss.

So, you know, I’m a bit agitated.

Still, earlier today, I sat in a phone bank and made my 33 calls to Kansas while simultaneously working on a nice arty jigsaw puzzle, in between a mammogram and a nice conversation with Peter.

Can you even process any of this?

These are weird times. Like we’re in a theater of the absurd.

I don’t have a photo that goes with any of this insanity. So how about this… I was in the Kaiser parking lot this morning and spotted this old car. I really have no interest in old cars, but what caught my attention was the color of the car. Our old family bubble car from the late 50s, early 60s (no idea its make or model) was exactly this shade of aqua.

I’ve learned a few tricks in Canva.. so I quickly worked up a design by first removing the background, dropping backgroundless car into a new scene, doing a little tilting of images and words,Live and presto.. this weird little exercise in distraction from all things overwhelming.

Phone Bank Jigsaw Club

October 25, 2020

Well, we don’t really have a phone bank jigsaw club, but there is a mini trend wending its way through the regular phone bankers… a bunch of us are multi-tasking during the phone banks, and it’s either cooking or putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Today the calls came so fast, that I managed a mere six pieces in my whole two-hour session.. and those were distracting enough. I think I left a lot of funny messages.. at least slightly disjointed.

Here’s a funny: as I was leaving a message — which I could do in my sleep (that said, I deliver it differently each and every time) — I discovered an edge piece. This caused me to gasp in the middle of my message. The funny thing about finding an edge piece is that I’d completed the entire perimeter yesterday. I’d already created the perfect square — no gaps — and, yet, here was another edge piece. No idea what that will sound like to the poor Kansas voter who will listen, I presume, to my message sometime today… and will hear that gasp.

(Turns out, it wasn’t the perfect square after all; it was, in fact, missing a piece. I had pressed two pieces together that didn’t quite go.. though it was SO CLOSE. But, my newly discovered piece was definitely the Cinderella slipper.

Here is my set up.. which will be my set up for the next nine days of phone banking!

My goal is to finish this puzzle by election day. It’s quite challenging, I must say.

Saturday Shots

October 24, 2020

As seen in downtown Davis this morning…

Returned from a beautiful morning at Farmer’s Market, and commenced to phone banking.. which has been the routine for months now. Today I added a bit of this:

It’s the first time I’m using our new table for jigsaw puzzles. Part of the idea of putting the table in this spot was to have a regular puzzle spot. Cool, huh?

By the end of the day I’d gotten this far:

So look, I know my subject matter has narrowed down to, like, four rotating topics — politics, food, Peter and politics. I could–maybe should–suspend blogging for awhile, but my OCD will not abide. Must continue the daily practice… because, if I don’t… well… I won’t. And then no bloggy. At all.

My nerves are frayed and bandwidth is limited, and all’s that’s on my mind these days is the election and bringing a deep and just humiliation upon the current office holder on Nov 3. My anger knows no bounds when it comes to him, the damage he has wrought, the sheer fact of him occupying the office of the presidency. How. Did. This. Ever. Happen.

Shudder.

I have a million things to write, but they’re all political — I give great speeches throughout the day.. on walks, in the shower. By the time I’m ready to write I’m just weary or my great speech is not top of mind. For example, I had a great comeback for Joe in last night’s debate about clean energy. I had an even better response to the court packing question. They were great speeches, but they’ve faded into the recesses.

But, see, that’d still be just another political post. I need fresh material. I am adding that to the growing list of post-election things I plan to turn my attention to. Man, I can hardly wait.

Okay, so, having reached paragraph #5 without having said a single thing, let me fall back on my real favorite topic: Peter. Who called today while I was in the middle of a phone bank (Arizona was on the docket this afternoon), and who was so buoyant and Friday-afternoon-ish, and, I don’t know, but he thought I might enjoy a quick FaceTime conversation as he walked home among those deep red and yellow trees. I just can’t tell you. Some days a person really needs a respite, and along he comes which cheery tales of fluid simulation.

I was telling Jim this evening, he seems so damn content. Nothing, but nothing makes a parent’s heart soar like a happy kid who’s in a good place, growing in every way imaginable.

Final Debate & 11 Days Left

October 22, 2020

Therefore, you need some pretty pictures from today’s walk to look at that will take your mind off the election and help you get grounded and breathe fully. (Because: anxiety and hyperventilation.)

You’re welcome.

If it Quacks Like a Fluid

October 21, 2020

I’ll just start by saying, Peter can do anything he wants and be into anything that floats his boat and I’ll always think he’s the bees knees. And whatever he studies, whatever it is, I’ll be interested.

So, Jim and I got this text today:

And it DID look like a fluid (the above is not clickable, sorry), and it was really cool! Clearly he was pleased with the result. So maybe I should say, “If it flows like a fluid…. ” (it is a fluid!)

Facsimile Fun

October 20, 2020

I think I mentioned in a recent past blog that Peter’s actual, real diploma finally arrived. This seemed like a good excuse for a little celebration..

So… Jim scanned the diploma for me and I goofed around with it.

I made some diploma wrapping paper:

That’s our family’s favorite gift box, recycled often, making an appearance at most Christmases and lots of birthdays. It’s become an ongoing joke because it never contains an Apple product, in spite of the promise of such. But it’s a great size for a t-shirt or two (which is exactly what went in the box this time around).

For this gift, I wrapped just the box top… and added ribbon:

Then made a little card… also with diploma theme (pretty cute, huh?):

Can you tell I’m quite taken with my little diploma idea?????? Yep. Shamelessly so. I’ve decided, apparently, that’s it’s even blog-worthy. (Which prolly explains my blog’s minuscule readership.)

Anyway, Jim and I sent these diploma-themed items off with some other miscellaneous items in a care package that arrived in Ann Arbor a few days ago. We happened to be on a Facetime call with Peter as he was arriving home and finding the package on his stoop. He opened it while we watched from afar… which was kinda fun! Peter commented that the package seemed… soggy… that maybe it’d gotten rained on or something. Turns out, the mini-split of celebration champagne that we’d included in the box broke, soaking some of the contents… but fortunately, since it was at the bottom of the box, all’s that got wet were the packing peanuts and the packing box. The diploma box was spared (and will be available for future gifts!).

Meme Monday

October 19, 2020

How ’bout a couple of funnies:

And something else caught my eye today and made me long to get these grifters out of the White House. It’s not polite, or even okay to judge somebody else’s marriage, and who knows what the hell kind of “marriage” the trumps have. I have some guesses, but not for me to say. What I will say is, they deserve each other. And I’ll also say, I am ready — more than ready — to replace that awful, disturbed, arrogant, damaged couple with people of decency and dignity.

More of this, please:

When in Doubt…

October 19, 2020

…. blog about food.

I’m often not sure what I might blog about. It gets to this point in the evening, I’m ready to turn in, realize I haven’t blogged (which is just about every night) and say to myself… hm. I download and look at whatever photos I have (or is that upload… I’ll forever mix those two up), and usually find a subject.

Long way of rationalizing tonight’s subject. I do plan to reflect on something substantive at the end, so skip the food stuff if you want to go right to something that happened tonight that I found important and incredibly thought provoking.

~~

Jim and I have resumed Sunday brunches at Bernardo’s. Did I mention that last week? This was our second time, since mid-March. Jim reverted right back to his usual.. the french toast. I liked the bendy banana, so took this pic.

I could write about many things relative to this breakfast, but most are sub-blogworthy. But there was one thing: we had a longish conversation with Ona, the mom of a girl Peter went through Chavez with (and the rest of school, as well). Ona and I worked together on a significant chunk of Grad Night planning.. all those years ago. Anyway, we learned today that she bought the house I’ve had my eye on for decades. A part of me has believed that when the stars line up, we will buy that house. I had tried to talk mom into buying it at one point, with the idea she’d live in it until .. well .. until the end, and then we’d move in. I’d taken the fantasy so far as to plan on Peter then moving into our current house and raising his family here, while Jim and I lived out our days in the sweet little cottage at 6th and D. But now Ona’s bought that sweet little cottage (for eight something hundred thousand dollars) and has declared it her forever house. Fantasy bubble burst. Damn.

Still, breakfast outside with our usual favorites was excellent.

Okay.. more food. Here’s a pic I took this afternoon as I assumed my position at the island eating my usual assortment of snacky things. A sunbeam caught my grapes and roasted pecans in a nice light.. made for an appealing sight:

Yum.

For dinner, I made another Chris Kimball pork tenderloin, this time with a different assortment of herbs and spices. Also, instead of a tenderloin it was just a loin.

Here are the spices/herbs: ground fennel, dried oregano, fresh rosemary, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and ground pepper:

Which you press into the pork and let sit for 15 minutes or so:

Then you brown it at a fairly high heat in canola oil until the pork’s browned on all sides and put the whole pan into the oven at 450 for 10-15 mins to cook the pork through. You then remove from the oven and remove the pork from the pan and set it aside while you make the sauce. Here’s how it looks after the oven part–crusted and intensely flavored.

That is a crusty ball-o-pork.. really moist, too.

Then you add to that hot, crusty pan some chicken broth and a couple teaspoons of brown sugar. That deglazes the pan and once the broth’s reduced a bit you add cold cubes of butter (only 1/4 cup’s worth) one at a time, emulsifying as you go (Kimball loves this technique). Add a couple T of lemon juice and finally, off heat, stir in another teaspoon of fresh rosemary. Spoon it over the sliced pork, serve with whatever (in our case, some buttery toasted pinenut rice w/ onions and garlic, some unadulterated steamed broc and some need-to-eat avocado. Voila:

Okay, that’s it for food.

~~

While I was cooking tonight (or trying to cook.. it was hard to do two things at once and I messed up numerous times on the above fairly straight forward dishes), I was listening to a celebration of the end of postcarding for this long campaign season. The postcard team’s work comes to a close a couple weeks before election day simply because postcard campaigns need mailing time and that has run out. So it was time to celebrate the achievements of the 375 local folks who contributed to postcard writing for 40 different campaigns across the country. Hard to arrive at an exact count, but their grand total (actually, I wrote some of those postcards, too!) was something close to 100,000 postcards in the months since March. Give or take (it’s complicated to add it all up for many reasons). The celebration–over Zoom, of course–was well attended with an awesome slide show, clever awards and lots of kudos and speeches.

All of that was great and the substantial effort by the team leaders and postcard writers was duly and genuinely recognized. But it was Audrey’s comments at the end that were so gripping. She spoke as a grateful team leader, but also as a woman, a scientist (doctor) and an immigrant — all three disparaged and dismissed by our stupid president* (*not my president). The gut punch was when she said that if she’d known at 16 what she knows and has experienced now, she wouldn’t choose to come to the US. There was a lot more said to support that, and it was emotional and compelling. It was clear this work is personal, as it feels to all of us, but even more directly personal to her as a naturalized citizen. It’s horrible what he’s done, what he’s said and how he’s mobilized hate. He is destroying everything that was ever good about our immigrant-based population. He does not represent us. He must go. We have to get back to who we are. She expressed, with pain and resoluteness, why we’re all doing this work.