Sunday, October 30, 2016

Picky Eaters

When my children were growing up they were picky eaters. I thought they would outgrow that for the most part. Now that they are grown, the only difference is that they don’t spit the beets at the cat and overturn the plate. They just decline to eat. I have had to create a flowchart to help me keep track of all the food likes and dislikes. Plus I have a fourth person in the mix these days – my daughter-in-law. Every time they all come home and I cook, we have a new adventure. They  know I maintain a running record of their preferences. Last month when I had the whole gang here, and I made ratatouille from the vegetables in my garden, my daughter-in-law said, “I love these capers in the ratatouille” while my daughter, who was spitting the capers out and assembling them in a pile on the edge of her plate, said, “Mom, add capers to my list of do-not-like.”

I constantly run into new eating preference information to file away. I thought my daughter and daughter-in-law loved a particular kind of cracker with soft goat cheese. So I stocked up on these before they came. Then my daughter reminded me that my daughter-in-law loves the crackers but dislikes goat cheese. Meanwhile, my daughter-in-law was looking for the sundried tomatoes. That’s what she likes on the crackers. I had some of those on hand for her. I ran to the computer to bring up my file to note the goat cheese and sundried tomatoes information. I think they should develop a phone app for moms to keep track of what their children like to eat.

My youngest son won’t eat fruit. He says it has something to do with the texture. I find it hard to believe that all fruit has a particular texture he can’t abide. He will eat apples and applesauce and he will eat watermelon but only if it’s perfect. It has to be sweet, not too cucumbery, not mushy but crunchy but not too crunchy – only perfect-crunchy. Is there a tool that measures watermelon perfection? The watermelon spectrometer? He will drink fruit smoothies but he only allows certain card-carrying approved fruits into them. The list changes. I can’t keep up.

My older son is the one who, as a child, asked for a lettuce leaf and after chewing it thoughtfully and spitting it out said, “This will taste like something when I grow up, right Mom?” Apparently it never did. He is not fond of vegetables, but will eat many varieties of them depending upon how they are prepared. Generally if they are slathered in pasta and Alfredo sauce or embedded in lasagna or something like that then he’s fine with them. He does eat Caesar salad, but salad is still not very high on his list. At least he likes fruit, according to the flow chart.

Last month, when all my children were home, my father was here too. While my children maneuver through meals as if crossing a minefield, Dad will hoover-up healthy portions of anything served to him so long as it’s not spicy. It was a relief to know that if I put the salsa on the side, Dad would be happy with whatever I served. It’s the rest of the crew that requires a schematic. How my omnivorous, easy-to-please father produced such a preposterous pack of food-particular grandchildren baffles me.

One thing all of us share in the family is that we love to cook delicious food. (My older son not quite so much, but his wife is into it.) A few days ago my daughter sent us a photo of the chicken rigatoni Alfredo she had made for herself for dinner. I was drooling (and I don’t even eat chicken). Last year she made tortilla soup for the family for dinner for Christmas Eve and the family licked that pot clean. Once, when my youngest son came home for a visit, he made us the most amazing mulligatawny soup. I had never had it before. He has a gourmet palate. That sometimes runs me into trouble. To make a simple cheese sandwich, he scours the refrigerator for tomatoes, lettuce, pepperoncini, avocado, mushrooms, and other ingredients to put on his sandwich. “What, Mom, you don’t have any caviar, fire-roasted red peppers, Thai green curry sauce, or Brazilian Tuscarora cherry-bomb squash blossoms? How do you expect me to make a decent sandwich?”

A couple of my children love mushrooms, but one of them won’t eat them. A couple of my children enjoy kale salad the way I make it, one of them hates kale. There’s a coconut frozen dessert I’m crazy about and most of the children like it too, but one of them hates coconut. One likes cheese in eggs, one doesn’t like cheese in eggs, one likes ketchup with eggs, one likes cream cheese with eggs, one prefers fried eggs on toast, one prefers scrambled eggs, one prefers chicken eggs, one prefers duck eggs, one prefers ibis eggs flown in from Australia and packed in homespun sheep wool blessed by Maori healers. How could breakfast get so complicated?

Now Thanksgiving is on the horizon. Thanksgiving dinner itself is not much of a problem. Everyone loves all the traditional foods, so long as they don’t find any capers, kale, or coconut snuck into them. Who would stuff a turkey with kale, capers, and coconut? (That doesn’t sound like a winning dressing.) We’re fine for Thanksgiving dinner, and our brood will pitch in and do a lot of the cooking with us. It’s the other meals during the weekend that I have to plan out in detail. Leftovers only go one night. Turkey sandwiches require several ingredients beyond turkey, and you can bet my youngest son is going to be searching the refrigerator for ingredients for his turkey sandwich. In a couple of weeks I’ll pull out the flowchart and begin building my schematic. Potatoes is my safe word.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Antibiotic Prison

This week I am in antibiotic prison. Here’s what happened. I have been struggling with a health issue that ultimately required treatment with antibiotics. Unfortunately, I have a body that interprets antibiotics as the nectar of the anti-Christ. My body gets a whiff of antibiotics and starts screaming its head off and running around in circles yelling “Earthquake! Fire! Avalanche!” Although normal people usually take antibiotics for ten days, I have never succeeded in making it to Day Ten. By Day Two my digestive tract has packed its bags and hopped the Space Shuttle for planets yet to be discovered. By Day Six I am as dizzy as if I just stepped off the G-Force Fireball Swing-Coaster Anti-Gravity amusement park ride. By Day Seven I break out in an impressive display of bright red hives that cover my entire body. That’s when the doctor and the pharmacist announce “game over.” I have been lucky in the past that somehow those scant miserable days on antibiotics managed to kill off whatever infection they were battling, even though I fell short of making it to the magical ten.

When I picked up my antibiotics at the pharmacy, the pharmacist told me not to read the warnings about side effects. But, but, but, I sputtered, knowing that I am the reason they have to put all those warnings on medications. He said they would just scare me and that they are extreme. Then he told me that while I am on the antibiotics I should stay out of sunlight, not drink anything alcoholic, avoid dairy products, not operate a submarine, and refrain from putting stress on my tendons. I asked him what would happen if I was exposed to sunlight and he said my skin would fall off. I asked him what about the submarine and he said I would cause an international incident. I asked him about my tendons and he told me not to ask about that. He told me to think positive.

The thing about my tendons just left me so curious that I had to read the warning label. I then discovered that I was taking a drug that could “cause permanent damage to tendons or the nervous system resulting in disability.” (You can’t make this stuff up, this is really what it said.) How can big pharma get permission to put this stuff on the market? Does it absolve them of all responsibility because they put the thing about the tendons in the warnings? So I can’t sue if my tendons are damaged? I don’t have choices here. I have to take this horrible stuff to get well. As I continued to read the warning label, I realized that I am doomed. My antibiotics could cause dizziness, hallucinations, tinnitus, depression, suicidal ideation, insomnia, twitching, speaking in tongues, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, hives, an obsession with Bob Dylan, yeast infection, electrical outages, drought, famine, and nuclear war. Yet the FDA approved this stuff. Perhaps they think that someone like me who is hyper-sensitive to antibiotics will transform into a viable weapon of mass destruction. They must be in cahoots with the Dept. of Defense.

Antibiotics are powerful substances. They are programmed to kill and they don’t understand the meaning of collateral damage. These antibiotics are annihilating every bacteria, every hint of bacteria, in my entire body. Both the bad stuff and the good stuff. They are murdering every microorganism within a fifty-mile radius of my person. They are making the pictures fall off my walls and have turned my cats practically transparent. (Those are cats, aren’t they? I’m not sure because of the hallucinations. I mean they could be dancing asparagus.)

I recently read the side effects warnings on a medication my father was taking for asthma. I read the warnings out loud. One of the potential side effects was “sudden death.” When my father heard that one he said, “That’s my least favorite side effect.” How can big pharma get away with this kind of stuff?

I so wish I didn’t have to put these horrible drugs into my body. I have spent years cultivating a beautifully balanced digestive tract that keeps me immune to disease. It had the most lovely flora in it. Sometimes I would lie in bed at night and imagine it radiating vitality. Gone. All gone. Feel free to cry for me. I needed to take these antibiotics, they were my only recourse. I can’t begin to rebalance my complex delicate beautiful body ecology until I finish putting this toxic stuff into it. My digestive tract is a wasteland right now and I can’t rebuild until I get out of antibiotic prison. Today is my last day. After this I’m throwing in the towel. Tomorrow I will begin rebuilding my digestive tract from scratch. Pass the sauerkraut.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Puzzling Over Remote Controls

Every once in a while I decide I might want to conduct a maneuver on the TV. For instance, I might want to turn it on, find a channel, or increase the volume. These simple tasks used to be obvious (back in the last century) and did not require the use of remote controls. I think they can perhaps still be accomplished without a remote control, but not in my house, where I have been instructed never to touch any button directly on the TV. Perhaps I suffer from a little bit of remote phobia. I would be willing to admit that. Ron is a patient teacher and he repeatedly explains to me step by step how to complete actions on the TV using a remote. He even writes things down for me. I am still hopeless. Problem number one is recognizing which of the remotes I’m supposed to use. We have a lot of them in our house, especially to control electronic devices. We probably have more remotes than kitchen appliances at this point. We don’t have a remote for the blender, but we have a remote for the gas fire in the family room. I like that one. I can recognize it and when I press the button on it the fire starts. I suspect we have a remote that will make a pot of soup, but I haven’t pursued that avenue. I kind of like making soup myself.

I rarely watch TV without my husband. I don’t watch any actual TV shows; in fact, do they still have those? Isn’t commercial TV all reality shows where the audience watches people go shopping or watches them complete an obstacle course involving water, spiders, spandex, and climbing walls? I know they have lots of cooking shows and talent shows where people try to win at singing, dancing, and grooming poodles. There may even still be a few shows with a storyline and characters, but is must be hard to remember what’s going on in the show from one barrage of commercials to the next. TV is all about advertising and the shows have diminished while the advertising has increased. I’m not sure I could tell the difference between a TV show and a commercial anymore. Maybe you can tell the TV shows because they have more guns in them?

Although I don’t watch any TV shows, Ron and I sometimes watch a web series made for Netflix. We also watch movies (both on disc and streamed). That’s the main thing I use the TV for. Ron watches a lot of movies on it (especially old ones) all day long, but he’s retired so he has an excuse. The other thing we watch on the TV is sports. Ron watches baseball and basketball. We both watch football. Usually Ron is here with me and he decides which games we watch, which are usually the ones I want to watch too so it’s all good. The difficulty arises when Ron is not going to be here and I want to watch football. This requires Ron to spend several hours helping me memorize which remotes I will need to use, which buttons I need to press on them, and what to do if something goes wrong. My general plan for what to do when something goes wrong is to panic and burst into tears. Like if I accidentally change the channel, or, worse yet, switch the TV into a different mode. You would be surprised about the modes. There are lots of them and they have fancy numbers and letters to define them. I wonder who names the modes and how much that person gets paid to do it.

Ron has tried putting colorful tape on the remotes to help me distinguish one from another. Then he writes a key. He has drawn careful diagrams to identify the buttons to press. You would think I could at least follow these careful directions. But more often than you would imagine I somehow press the wrong button and the screen turns to snow with a mode designation flashing in the corner, something like HDMT26HAHAYOUIDIOT. That’s when I have to call Ron on his cell phone and urgently interrupt whatever he is doing to get assistance, because I really can’t have the TV laughing at me. It’s not even human.

Ron says I don’t even try. But I really do. When I press the volume button (like he showed me) on a Raiders game and the TV spontaneously switches to a nature show about snakes, I am convinced that the TV is simply having a laugh at my expense. It knows when Ron leaves the house. I can be innocently sitting on the couch, with my two labeled remotes and my twelve pages of diagrams and clear instructions, and I can wave bye-bye to Ron, who has just spent six hours briefing me on how to use the remotes to watch the game, and the minute the door closes behind him the TV jumps to an archived episode of Bewitched. I swear, I don’t have to touch anything. The TV just does it. I have actually resorted to driving to a sports bar to watch a game because I lost the game on my own TV while Ron was out.

I appreciate my husband’s infinite patience with me. He once wrote in a job application letter that he has the patience of a man who has been stuck inside of a whale. It’s true, and he actually landed that job. He has also stuck with the job of helping Amy use a remote correctly. I don’t appreciate the random and downright mean actions of our TV. I do not find them funny and I don’t understand how that TV can get away with these shenanigans. Sadly, I am not even allowed to best the TV by pressing the “off” button and saying “so there.” I have to figure out which remote to use to power the system down correctly. I am so bad with remote controls that I could conceivably press the wrong button on a remote and cause the Coyote Valley Dam to release all the water in Lake Mendocino into the Russian River. Life is getting too complicated for me. I should stick to reading books.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Eeyore People

I am dubbing them the Eeyore People after the character in the Winnie-the-Pooh books who is chronically depressed, listlessly apathetic, and who mopes around expecting the worst. We all know Eeyore People. They are the ones who consistently have the most convoluted and unfathomable series of unfortunate events happen to them, preventing them from accomplishing even the most simple tasks. If you dare to ask how they arrived at a particular state of affairs, prepare to sit through an extremely long shaggy dog story.

The Eeyore People bring these situations upon themselves by procrastinating, lacking resourcefulness, failing to think ahead, and mounting obstacles where there were none a minute before. It amazes me how they convince themselves that they are the worst victims of fate when 90% of their problems are self-made. By way of example, I have an acquaintance, whom I will call Eeyore, who calls me from time to time to complain about her latest problems. I lend a sympathetic ear because she doesn’t call that often and it’s not so hard for me to help out a lonely person who can use a good listener. Her latest debacle is that her car died and she can’t afford to buy another one. So she has not been to the doctor because she has no transportation. Therefore she has not had the prescriptions for her medications refilled and they have run out. So now she is off her meds and is sick. She has attempted to get her doctor’s office to refill the prescriptions but they won’t do it without seeing her for an office visit.

Let’s deconstruct this scenario. This woman is single, in her sixties, and she has six brothers who live in the same town she does (all of them married and some with grown children who also live in this town). You would think that A) between them the brothers could figure out how to give her a ride to the doctor, B) if the brothers are too busy then perhaps one or another of their grown children could be prevailed upon to take their auntie to the doctor, and/or C) the brothers could manage to find a vehicle or chip in to buy a vehicle that would get this sister around. But don’t suggest any of these things to her. “Oh, I couldn’t ask them for help,” she explains. Not my place to question the malfunctioning of her family. OK, let’s move on to other transportation. I suggested that she call the Senior Rider. We have a Senior Rider here that picks up old folks and drives them to the store or to doctor appointments at no cost. It’s a public service. All you have to do is call. Eeyore lives in a big city so I imagine they have an excellent Senior Rider she could access. She claims she looked into a senior ride service in her area and that to use it you need a note from your doctor, whom she can’t go see because she doesn’t have transportation. Am I to believe that this particular service is the only senior ride service in her city? (She says she doesn’t know another one.) Or that she can’t have the doctor MAIL HER a letter of referral? Surely she can get a letter of referral for the senior ride service without making an office visit. What about public transportation, you might ask. I did. What about taking the bus? You would think the bus route maps were drawn up by M.C. Escher the way she describes them. She can’t figure them out. What about a taxi? Too expensive. Ask a friend to drive her? She doesn’t feel comfortable asking anyone she knows. She sounds like the most unresourceful person on the planet, but trust me, this is the way Eeyore People think and operate.

So eventually she figures out a way to go to see a doctor, not her regular doctor, but a different doctor. Before she retired she worked in the accounting department of a large hospital and she knows how to get to the hospital. So she goes to a doctor at that hospital. She has diabetes so the doctor she needs to see to refill her meds is an endocrinologist. This is truly shocking, right? Yes, you betcha, the meds she has not been getting are for diabetes. One would think she would feel a greater sense of urgency. Anyway, finally, Eeyore goes to this different endocrinologist, who asks her who referred her. The previous endocrinologist apparently served as both her primary care doctor and her endocrinologist, but in order to bill Medicare, the new endocrinologist needs her to have a referral from a primary care doctor. Since she has given up on going to her previous doctor, she doesn’t have a primary care doctor anymore. She can’t very well get a referral from one endocrinologist (whom she just ditched) for another one. This sounds like a Catch-22. It takes real talent to land in a situation like this.

In the meantime, the new endocrinologist provided her with prescriptions for enough meds to tide her over for a few weeks until she sorts herself out. But she says one of the meds is too expensive for her to buy. I wonder how she was able to buy it before but can’t buy it now. Maybe the pharma company arbitrarily decided to raise the cost on it, like Mylan did with the EpiPen, which has been all over the news. (Mylan raised the cost of the EpiPen from $100 in 2009 to $600 in 2016, for no other reason than the fact that it owns a monopoly on the lifesaving device and can make more money on it.) You would think she would have some kind of pharma plan through Medicare that would cover her meds. But when she set up her Medicare plans, she didn’t get good advice, and so she doesn’t have an appropriate pharma plan for her needs. So she should work with an agent to fix that, right? But will she do it? Of course not. She’ll keep whining that she can’t afford her meds. I don’t know which of her meds she can’t afford. I hope it’s not the insulin.

You really can’t help the Eeyore People sort things out. You can’t make recommendations, because they will come up with an insurmountable obstacle that prevents them from pursuing every single blessed suggestion you can make. Life is just unfair to them. No one knows the trouble they’ve seen. These people make everything super complicated. They couldn’t peel a potato without terminally destroying their kitchen plumbing and falling on the floor and breaking a bone.

Eeyore People are the ones who have a hole in their kitchen ceiling that lets the rain in and when you unwittingly ask them about it, the explanation involves a tree falling, a dozen disreputable contractors, an all-night roofing supply store, squirrels, asbestos, insurance paperwork, FEMA, a Super Bowl party, an extension ladder, the Farmer’s Almanac, and hip replacement surgery. By the time you have heard the entire explanation, it’s summer and the urgency of repairing the hole has dissipated. I feel sorry for people who make their lives so complicated, who convince themselves that they can’t afford anything because they have limited finances instead of working out a solution, who think they don’t deserve anything, who are not resourceful or smart, who don’t take care of business, who continue in a downward spiral that is completely unnecessary. They don’t realize how much they create their own difficult situation.

I have a friend whom I met in Berkeley back in the 1980s. He was about 28 years old at the time of the incident I’m about to relate. One day he was driving home and his car died. He couldn’t afford to fix it. He got someone to tow it to his apartment building for free and he left the car parked, inert, on the front lawn until he could take it to a mechanic. It sat out there for at least a year. My friend rode his bike and took public transportation. Then he got a new job and was earning better money, so he had the car towed to the mechanic. It turned out that the only thing wrong with it was that it had run out of gas. Otherwise it ran just fine. Eeyore People. Oy.

Eeyore. Kinda cute. Attracts challenges.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Rogue Podiatrist

So far this election season, I have avoided saying anything about politics on the blog because we are inundated with the stuff and I think we need a few laughs a lot more than we need political rants. So I feel compelled to warn you that this blog contains political content just below the surface. On the surface, this is a discussion of why we fired my husband Ron’s podiatrist this week.

I believe that politics has no place in the doctor’s office. It should not enter the doctor-patient relationship. Yet Ron’s podiatrist seems to feel it’s his sworn duty to plaster his office with political posters and bombard his patients with his extremely conservative, borderline crackpot, political views. I will call this podiatrist Jack to protect his identity, even though I don’t really care about protecting his identity. But I don’t want to be sued for libel. Ron has gone to Jack for over a dozen years and Jack is an excellent podiatrist, who has taken good care of Ron’s feet. I now wonder a little about this since Jack has been baiting Ron to argue with him about Black Lives Matter for months. Jack wants to incite Ron to say that all lives matter. He doesn’t get the point of the movement. (He’s white, of course.) So this is why I have to wonder a little about why he has taken such good care of a brother’s feet.  Wouldn’t he prefer to keep a Black man’s feet out of commission so the guy can’t run away from the police? Perhaps he thinks it only sportsmanlike to give Ron a fair running start.

We have struggled to shut him down at every appointment. I was once in his office and he started in on a tirade against Obama and the Affordable Care Act. I cut him off and told him that the Affordable Care Act has saved me thousands of dollars (it has) and that I get down on my knees every day and thank Obama for passing it (I don’t really), and that he should shut up about it. He did. But, how unprofessional is that to get into politics with patients? This man is actually a sweet person. He once ran into us at a restaurant and chatted with us for a while before our dinner arrived. After he left and we had finished eating, when we asked for the bill, the waitress informed us that he had paid the bill. He bought us dinner. He is also extremely knowledgeable about foot care, which is the main reason Ron has continued to hide his eyes and walk past the offensive political posters in Jack’s office all these years (on well-tended diabetic feet).

Last week, however, Ron went to Jack’s office for routine foot care and was accosted by a bevy of posters touting the Dark Lord for president. I am being careful not to say the Dark Lord’s name, both because I do not wish to invoke his energy by naming him and because I fear that if he becomes president I will be tracked down and tortured by the Russian Mafia, endangering my family and possibly my cats by association. It would be very easy to torture my cats since they are addicted to tuna and thus vulnerable.

As a diabetic, Ron goes to the podiatrist every three months to have his toenails trimmed and his feet examined. It’s dangerous for him to trim his toenails himself because if he accidentally nicks a toe, the cut can become infected and not heal. He lost half a toe that exact way once a long time ago in a galaxy far away called Vegas. So last week he was in the chair, when Jack decided it was his sworn duty to convince Ron to vote for the Dark Lord. How can someone who knows so much about feet know so little about pretty much every other blessed thing in the universe? This goes to show you that if you become obsessed with feet you will lose vast amounts of gray matter. Too much energy diverted to the other end of the body, perhaps? Jack believes that Fox News is beamed down by God Almighty Himself. Over the years, we have deflected his insane ravings about the Bush Administration and the wisdom of engagement in Iraq; Sarah Palin (he would give his left nut to sleep with her, which clearly qualifies her to be VP and to step in if necessary if the President is taken out by a stray bullet from Dick Cheney); how Hillary will sneak into his house in the middle of the night and steal his gun (wresting it out of his tight little hand, I presume); why Obama is the anti-Christ and anyway he’s not an American citizen (of course, Christ wasn’t either, so maybe that explains it); and how Mitt Romney actually won the last election but Nancy Pelosi’s pet canary pecked extra holes in ballots all over Ohio (that canary should be arrested). But now he has reached an entirely new level of political invective and ignorance and Ron can’t take it anymore.

Jack agrees with the Dark Lord that we should round up all the Muslims and make them wear yellow stars. A wall between the U.S. and Mexico strikes him as brilliant. (Why didn’t someone already think of that? Such as the Berliners, perhaps?) Like all the other Dark Lord followers, he thinks it’s fine to berate women for putting on weight, but he somehow doesn’t notice that the Dark Lord is fat. Maybe if you become a follower you have to sign an oath not to call the Dark Lord fat. The Russian Mafia forces you to eat a vegan diet for a month if you call the Dark Lord fat. We are not surprised that Jack is pleased to see the Dark Lord verbally abuse women. He had a lovely wife and she left him pretty early in the marriage. (I can’t imagine him physically abusing women because, you have to trust me on this, he really does have a big heart in his own way, but he is a verbal abuser.) The turnover rate of his lovely female office staff (receptionist, assistant, etc.) is so high that you could get whiplash watching them tear out the door. Every one of them as sweet as can be and he is such a bully that they flee. I have rarely been in his office, but once when I was there and he was rude and domineering to his female assistant, I chastised him for it and made him apologize to her. He likes me a lot, and I think it’s because I remind him of his mom. I don’t let him get away with his crap.

While contemplating the drivel that comes out of Jack’s mouth, I have had this clever idea that the government should develop a No Fly-By List of all the people who cannot be trusted to sit next to anyone else on an airplane because they will inappropriately foist crazy political views on them. (Obama is working for a Martian cartel of single-cell organisms that are plotting to take over Earth. He communicates with them using the binary system.) Jack would be number one on the No Fly-By List. He needs to be separated from decent, ordinary people.

When someone goes to the doctor’s office, they should not come home with their blood pressure 50 points higher than their IQ. Doctors are healers, right? So when Ron came out of Jack’s office this week with his blood pressure orbiting the planet, and the receptionist cheerfully offered to make him an appointment in three months, he held up his hand and walked on by. He came home angrier than I have seen him since he stepped barefoot on a stray Lego in the living room at the Ranch in the middle of the night. So we immediately searched online and found an alternative podiatrist, and we called to make an appointment for his next trim with the new doctor. On Friday, he formally transferred his records from Jack’s office. Jack has officially gone over to the Dark Lord and we will have none of it.

On Friday night, we skyped a longtime friend of ours who lives in Uruguay. She is German and is working in Uruguay for a few years. She said that Germany is, for the first time ever, sending election observers to the U.S., and that if she were not working in Uruguay, she would have signed up to be an observer. She told us that Europeans are stunned by what is happening in the U.S., and that Germans in particular, with their history, are deeply disturbed. “We can’t believe anyone will vote for him,” she said incredulously. “Do you know anyone who will vote for him?” So Ron told her about Jack and his recent decision to ditch him as his podiatrist. I am often afraid to ask people their political views because I am easily astonished by the pervasive ignorance in this country.  But I doubt I know anyone other than Jack who will vote for the Dark Lord. We don’t live in a Dark Lord hot zone. 

I will kind of miss Jack. He’s a dumb lug who is very sweet underneath that idiocy. If I were to tell Jack something in parting, I would say, “You have a good heart. I just wish you weren’t such an asshole.” If I were a vandal, I’d sneak over to his office in the middle of the night and put an anti-NRA sticker on his mailbox. He’s so oblivious, though, that he probably wouldn’t notice it until sometime around the inauguration.

I was looking for an image of feet and remembered how much I love this one. I hope the beautiful energy of this picture counteracts my invoking of the Dark Lord in the blog.