Sunday, October 4, 2015

It Really Happened. I found my blog & Think I'll Be Able to Write - on My Windows Phone!

Well, well and 'Howdy'. I can't TELL you how exciting it is when an old broad like myself interacts with today's technology and (it appear so far) has a cohesive if not stellar experience! (a punctuation sinfully overused, particularly by the inexperienced but this Happening is indeed special and, therefore, by association, worthy.)
As to news, we locals are living through (day 4) the dastardly hurricane, Joachim. At this juncture, any writer worth his quill would insert a visual of trees whirling dervishly, tides foaming over the rip rapped rim of our property perimeter and torqued vegetative debris having its way with the meagerly manicured 'grounds'. (And wouldn't you know today was the one arrangements had been made with a landscaping company manned by a band of Guatemalan tree-climbers to rid us of a dangerously dead, very tall oak whose acorn days most likely go back centuries. But come and climb they are and must also be filed with the non-visualized because downloading photos is assuredly risking this septuagenarian's apparent luck.)
It is hoped, however, that an opportunity to publish an anthology of "Wish you guys could have seen THIS shots from droplet - marred windows will present for capitalization. (And THAT'S just the Guatemalan performances. The raging storm imagery will knock your boots off.)
Also newsworthy is the ongoing saga of "Retired couple, after 47 years of connubial 'hiss', still can't discuss options, taste, function and need in a civil manner." Last week's installment had our youngest daughter interrupting her otherwise jammed dance card life to intervene, dealing with the builder and hot tub retailer such that a NEW tub, that fits in a corner as did the old-about-to-join-the -legion-of-in-extremis' tubs will be delivered to its new home, master bath designed by the architect to accommodate such a creature in the very near future. This because her parents, wearing their new "I'm over it; just-can't-cope" uniforms, were at yet another impasse halting all forward movement on construction.
Other updates include delivery of a POD of valuable and to date missing (as well as still contaminated with mold and mildew) by the original incompetents who improperly non-extricated the destructive flood waters emanating from a frozen, burst water hose spigot. They had been holding on to this POD of our possessions until WE PAID THEM FOR SERVICES RENDERED PLUS POD RENTAL FEES.
Why, you might ask with hungry curiosity, did you PAY them? Well, our insurance company - who have been wonderful throughout this debacle (thank you, USAA), advised us to play nice, don't run with scissors, etc. and ultimately we could very well experience normalcy. (This last is clearly interdependent with our respective life expectancy.)
This week on "As the Screw Turns" (the series running with unwavering regularity since 'date of loss', 02/26/2015) will contain elements of health re-evaluation, decontamination of mold/mildewed furniture, remaining decisions/selections at the NEW Winter Palace, trying to stay close and at least observe and record the developing, shining the lights and prisms through which we are enabled to soldier on and, it is hoped, stay in closer touch with you, dear reader.
Till we read again, later, Lorane. . . .

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Transition - AKA -" RIGHTS OF PASSAGE"

       It's that time of year: Happy Birthday
Kathleen Nora!
       Just a little footnote to my last post: I did not remember where the picture I USED CAME from.  I now know that it is of a very old clock on a street in Czechoslovakia. 
       It was time.  Could feel it in my bones.  Husband of 47 years and I are down sizing, as they say.  (And as you may recall my feelings  about that last phrase, I do and will keep my promise to tell you who these powerful, trend setting "they" are the nanosecond that I find out.)
       Out of context, of course, the word is meaningless.  Are we losing weight?  Cutting down on the number of group meetings we attend?  Having a spine disc removed?  What?  In the interest of clarity, I am using this feckless word in its "living quarters" application.  We reluctantly admitted that we simply cannot do what we did easily in the past.
       MIND: ultimate IRONY - when the productive, 'take-care-of-things', travel long distances by car with four children and a dog years are finally over and you have the time and spirit, this body with nothing but time and holds us captive, screams at the mention of motion.
       It made sense, then, to have a smaller house, less property, fewer 'things' and consequently more energy without physical complaints.  Lists were made - what stays, what goes; locations debated (where do the majority of grand kids live?); budgets discussed and a decision (with the help of a loan officer son-in-law) was made to build a ranch-style - tweaked with touches of Southern Italy - in Suffolk Virginia. I guess you might say it's the last development frontier in South Hampton Roads.  Or you could say, "what's a Suffolk"?  Or nothing. Probably the most sensible option.
       You are correct in surmising that all of the above activities were conducted while seated. Then, when "Let's make the list happen" time came, I, our beagle and, of course, Do Tell, my frog, were left with the happening.
       Just going through the 'what stays' was a protracted, bumbling trek down ole memory lane.  Organizing books provided a natural order of our life histories - pre and post marriage.  A true fan of the 20's, I relived all of my favorite buddies' worlds.  Still enamored of Dorothy Parker's humor and writing style, I also relived the frustration of never being able to master her 'story-within-a-story' technique.
       Had I been able to, I could  use this juncture to seamlessly slide into the reactions to  the "For Sale" sign erection by the neighbors as well as the neighbors themselves.  Some smiled wanly, murmuring expressions of sadness before dashing home for an evening of toasting cocktails, culminating in what must have been their shared erections.
       But, alas, I am constrained to the vagaries of meetings, glossing over a myriad of decorating books, and all of the other non-fun aspects of downsizing with the exception of our book, "The Tome of Plans for the Leavy Erection Residence".  Most of the decorating books stress the importance of a home having good bones.  More concerned with our bones, we invested healthily in plush carpeting and Cork wood plank flooring.
      It is hoped that the massage tubs will be entertaining rather than therapeutic.  If ever in our 'hood', you definitely have an invite - no, a RIGHT to pass into our little courtyard, share a transitional toast and a few laughs under the grapevine-covered pergolette.  Salute!
Later, Lorane. . . .

Friday, February 13, 2015

Intentional Cacophony

      Forest Hills, Queens, New York.  Picture it.  Already a physical misfit, the Forest Hills Tennis Complex seemed to have lost its way from Basil, Switzerland, debarking the IRT subway line and wending its way up the groaning escalator and emerging like a hippopotamus from an unlit, three inch drain pipe.  Power-wheeled feet of the 'locals', intent solely on finishing first in the human rat race remained unaware of this ambling amoeba save a flash of wonder as to the whereabouts of its recently-shed trappings of soot and cement.  Whatever.  No accountin' for taste in this burg.
       By the evening news, that it would be 'home' to TENNIS players, well, 'ther goss de nayborhoot', Madre Mia.'.  Fine athletes all, they ran to the beat of the cleat, already feeling the smooth, cool trophy that would cap at least a dozen family teeth.  But rackets were for the extra buck; white shorts could be used for first communion and you fished with nets for crabs at 
Sheepshead Bay.  
       When word got out that the stadium would also house concerts, the whole borough felt like wearing war paint and scalping a few 'folks'.
       Enter The Kingston Trio.  Three college guys in striped, long-sleeved shirts had just made it big with a single, "Tom Dooley". (About a guy about to be hanged), packed the Newport Jazz Festival the previous year and were about to sell out in Rhode Island again with The Newport Folk Festival.  Their key to success was singing and playing well on guitar, banjo and drums, being funny and avoiding the performing deathtrap of  politically controversial material.  (This was 1958-1959 and the 'Korean Conflict' was still bleeding.)
       A high school junior with a three day after school job at Macy's had some extra cash - at least enough to follow this witty, world-traveled, easy-on-the eyes fellas who  - just getting started - held the added attraction of cheap seats and the opportunity to 'hang' with college guys in the adjacent cheap seats.  I first saw them at Forest Hills (Brooklyn abuts Queens) and within two years, knew every word of every song they did.
       One of my favorites - political controversy be damned - was "A Merry Little Minuet".  It is a supremely sardonic, satire on international telations.  They did not write it, but performed it with exquisite charm and delicacy - qualities at the opposite spectrum of the commentary.  What is still striking to me today, lo these fifty plus years later, is its uncanny timeliness.  Yes.  It is both timely and frightening.  Not having the time to adequately research the tune, we shall have to rely on my memory, a very sketchy reliance of late - and in the early morn as well.  'Five, six, seven, eight. . . .
       They're rioting in Africa
They're thieving in Spain;
There's hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering
with unhappy souls.
The French hate Germans
The Germans hate the Poles.
Italians hate Yugoslavs,
South Africans hate the Dutch.
And I don't like anybody very much.
But, we can be grateful and thankful and proud,
For man's been endowed with a mushroom- shaped cloud.
And we know for certain that one lovely day,
Someone will set the spark off,
And we will all be blown away.
They're rioting in Africa,
There's strife in Iran,
What nature doesn't do to us,
Will be done
By OUR felLOW   M-A-N. . .
This last line - and kindly forgive my awkward, hieroglyphically-rooted attempt at creating an audible impression using written symbols - was performed without regard for melody, tune, rhythm or acceptably-timed rendering.  It was a complete departure from its preceding, melodious and almost soothing regularity.  It sounded discordant and at once angry and sad, beaten.
       It was what I have dubbed, "Intentional cacophony".  The lyricist and musicions conspire to deliver what seems an inevitability from which there is no escape and toward which mankind was never intended - nor did he strive for - that is settling upon us.  I don't recall where I got this photo - probably DiAnne Ebejer - but it
expresses my feelings visually.  There
is no unity or order; the caricatures seem
non-thematic and of differing pur-
poses.  What was once unity and
intricate perfection, still developing
is disintegrating.

       To pause, reflect and attempt to devise alternative routes, preventable destruction is to be lured farther into the abyss.  Except this revisit will have for its escort more pain.
       The only escape from this widespread tragedy I see, therefore, is to edit out "Intentional".  We all can - and often must endure cacophony (You wouldn't want to hear my husband rejoice in his singing of "Danny Boy" but he wouldn't notice your moving away.)  Similarly, walk politely but swiftly past the mournful; know that looking back, some very funny things serendipidously happened during sad occasions and finally, there are ALWAYS occasions for re-writes.  It is given to us to always be on the lookout for those gifted ones who, should the occasion arise would and will become available to preclude disaster, change the ending, do that fine and timely re-write.
Later, Lorane. . . .

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Truth be Told. Hmmm. Can't Say I've seen Much Lately

Truth be told. ..  Hmm. . . Can't Say's I've Heard Any Lately

       This lady walks into 2015 (running, even walking too brusquely may have caused suspicion, detention, delay) and with a resolved sense of determination to become 'more involved in mankind' precipitated by a hasty New Year's resolution - interrupts a private conversation between two people unknown to her who seem to be lost.  She asks whether she can be of assistance in helping them find their way.

       (Many - too many of her years have been wasted in pursuit of 'finding herself', ferreting out her personal karma, assuring herself that she had, indeed, 'arrived'.  She now knew with that unquestionable assurance one has at the start of what is going to be a bad evening as one smudges the polish on before completely tearing off a newly-manicured fingernail while jabbing for the spotless, shining brass doorknob the turning of which effects the entrance of a highly sought-after blind date, her 'way of being in the world', a 'way' that yields gratitude and a modicum of pride.  "But now," she thinks, it is given to me to negate Self for the higher, nobler purpose of helping others out of darkness into the bright light of confidence and comfort, trampling upon despair and deterrence en route.")
     The unfortunate strangers to her city had totally bollixed the "KEY" reference section on the street map they'd purchased and were therefore heading very much away from their desired destination and thus the event that had lured them this far would be history by the time their error was recognized, steps re-traced and proper goal achieved.
       She, seeing these ramifications instantly in the brief glance taken at the disoriented couple's map, trusted her surmise completely (thereby obviating the need to confer with these hapless losers and wasting more time - hers) instantly began issuing STAT orders to her personal driver, having snatched her cell phone from its ochre kid case, used speed dial and began her barks as four staring eyes became Keene-sized fear balls.
       (Just as the blanket of cozy satisfaction settled itself around her erstwhile cold shoulders, the first lap in her journey from 'Isolated Island' to 'Compatible Camaraderie' the sound of retreating, panicked, Dr. Scholl's-lined sturdy touring shoes running apace bombarded her ears.  The auditory, polluting assault shattered her sounds of peaceful silence renting the shoulder comforter into microscopic shards of rayon.
       This acute change in her surrounding constitutional ambiance shocked her into a discordance so severe as to permit her cell phone to plummet to the unyielding cement amid the fading pleas of a fearful servant now morphing into nightmare fragments.
       The 'about-to-be prototypes' of her new karma had fled.  Apparently  NOT finding "Interpersonal Salvation" as vital as finding the pre-paid seats to the opera.  She could still faintly make out their forms - your typical 'rat-in-a Skinner-Box', flinging themselves into the maze, caution to the wind, onto the first streetcar of kindness they thought they saw.)
       "Well", she thought, "2015 may not be at all timely for such a life-altering change."  Having done an about face, the lady continued her walk.  "Now where was I?  Ah, yes.  2015: Year of Personal  Discovery Leading to the Real Me and My Reason d'Etre. If it's a good read, perhaps next year I'll market the screenplay."
       (Oh what a tangled web we weave. . . Just considering effecting a  change that requires discipline; demands TRUTH.)
Later, Lorane. . . .