Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ready to Go Home

When I was young, I loved to travel. I thrived on adventure and change. In my early 20s, I moved to a new place every year (or more frequently sometimes than that). I used to joke that I never cleaned the stove in an apartment; that when the stove got too dirty I moved to another city. That was about the size of it. Upstate NY, to London, to Massachusetts, to Michigan, to Vermont, to Santa Maria in California, to the East Bay (SF area), to Denver, back to the East Bay. I traveled back and forth to Europe frequently. Once I dropped everything and went on a road trip to Seattle because I had never been there and I had a friend I could stay with. Ron and I traveled in Europe for several weeks back in the early 80s. So how did I become the reclusive personality I am today?

I confess that I no longer enjoy traveling. It broke my heart to move off my beloved land on McNab Ranch. I am doing better these days now that I am used to my new home. I putter in my yard and have become attached to my little half acre. Why leave home when home is so lovely? I am most happy hiding in my study, plunking away on my computer. Making up imaginary worlds.

After 10 days on the road, first attending a wedding in the Berkshires, and then visiting friends and family in Chicago and St. Louis, I am so ready to be back in my hideaway. Cup of decaf. Cat in my lap. Cool breeze bringing the scent of sage and mint from my front garden. Tap, tap, tapping the keys. I’m winging home today. Take me there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wedding in the Berkshires

My darling husband and I spent the weekend in the lovely autumnal Berkshires attending the wedding of two of our dearest friends, Jim and Sara. Ron did more than attending, he actually performed the ceremony (after becoming a qualified minister online through the Universal Life Church), which seems to be the latest and greatest knee-slapper among his family in Chicago. His sisters are calling him the Rev (and they will have the opportunity to do so in person shortly as we are on our way to see them next).

When two people wait all their lives to meet the right person, and then, in their fifties, find the love they have hoped for, held out for, believed would come to them if they were patient, well, it makes for a six-hanky wedding for all concerned. This is the first wedding for both of them and you would have to travel far to find two souls better matched than these two. It is always a delight to witness a wedding when you can see, when everyone can see, that the bride and groom have a terrific relationship and will be happy together. The delight turns to wonder when it took a long time for the bride and groom to find each other, and here they are in their 50s making a marriage. The wonder turns to miracle when the couple are people as special as Jim and Sara. What a bright and shining moment to participate in this event. It reminds me that every marriage built on authentic love is a miracle.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Job Offer Scams

This is too much. My children, both college grads, are looking hard every day for work without much luck in this economy. Recently my son got a job offer that was a total scam. Some purported prospective employer picked up his resume on a bona fide mainstream electronic job board and emailed him with an offer written in those whacky bad grammar sentences you find in the Nigerian internet scams. I don’t know why these people think that if the grammar is horrendous you will believe that the person is from some foreign country and doesn’t speak English very well. This scam artists claims to be from Malaysia. He writes: ”I am a costruction engineer who is dependently employed so i travel a lot on business trips and thats why i need an honest person to always assist while i am away.”

He offered my son a job buying supplies for an orphanage he supposedly runs. He writes: “I have been checking my files and what i would want you to do for me this week is to run some errands out to some of the orphanage home, I do that every month. A payment inform of a Cashier Check will be sent over to you from one of my clients and i have some lists to email you once you received the funds, You will make some arrangements by buying some stuff for the kids in the Orphanage at any nearest store around you so you can mail them out.” Yah. Right. An orphanage? Puleez. My son just deleted it and ignored it. But other young people will be duped. Next the scam artist will ask for the victim’s bank account information for the transfer of funds. Or do you think this scam artist wants the social security number and other personal information so he can steal the victim’s identity? My son has experienced quite a few of these, including purported employers who want his information so they can run a “credit check” before they employ him. Argh.

Doesn’t this make you furious? Preying on young people desperate to find work and get their independent lives started, this scam artist will make them miserable and cost them money they don’t have straightening out whatever mess this criminal predator has in store for them. And of course everything must happen quickly. He needs all the information from the victim quickly. He is eager to get started working with the victim. I’ll bet. Well we’re going to report this one to the job board from whence he came and hope they can axe him. This stuff makes me wonder if there’s any hope for human salvation.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Plant Energy

It’s autumn (finally) in the garden. I went on my Facebook diet just at the right time. Less time on the computer and more time in the yard makes me happier. Concentrating on edible plants these days, saves money in the long run. I picked all the rest of the green tomatoes last week and put them in a giant bowl to ripen inside, took out the tomato vines, and will soon plant kale when I have those beds ready. Kale, collards, and cilantro in the winter garden. Also the time of year to put in asparagus beds for next year’s crop. And a few tulip bulbs just for fun. While at the cash register at the nursery waiting to buy my asparagus, I picked up a fact sheet and read that research studies show that workers in offices with live plants get sick less often and are more productive than people who work in offices with no plants. Children in classes with plants get better grades, are better behaved, and get sick less often. I didn’t write down the exact stats or the sources for them, but these statistics make perfect sense. Plant energy keeps us well, keeps us positive, keeps us connected with the mysterious spiritual energy active in the universe.

Probably some kind of cosmic energy surge today: 10-10-10.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tea Party 101

The Tea Party is not a grassroots movement opposed to government interference, as depicted in the media. It’s actually a corporate puppet. The Tea Party was created by the Koch brothers (pronounced “coke”), who have heavily financed the movement. It is a strategy developed by the Kochs (and other wealthies in the corporate world) to tear down the government so that they can conduct their business activities without regulation, governmental constraint, or consideration for the environment, public interest, or the health of everyday citizens.

Jane Mayer of The New Yorker reports (Aug. 2010) that David and Charles Koch operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, controlling about 4,000 miles of pipeline. They are the third wealthiest people in the country (behind Bill and Melissa Gates and Warren Buffett), with a combined wealth of $35 billion. They clearly have the financial resources to market their agenda to the public and to form public opinion. They have the resources to influence public policy. As Mayer explains: “By giving money to ‘educate’, fund, and organize Tea Party protesters, the Kochs have helped turn their private agenda into a mass movement.” Their promotion of their private agenda is not new, they have been up to this trick for over 20 years, investing $200 million in their self-serving activities, including a massive propaganda campaign (which continues in support of Tea Party activities).

It is infuriating that the Kochs have duped so many everyday people with old-fashioned traditional values, who work hard to make a decent life for themselves, into believing that the Tea Party represents their interests. It does not. It is the opposite. It is owned and operated by the Kochs and their corporate buddies. And if the Tea Party is successful in stripping the government of regulatory power over big business, then the oil companies, financial institutions, and health insurance companies will have free reign to plunder and pillage, destroying the planet and the future of our children.