Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2019

Archive for the month “March, 2015”

I’ll Take A Breath In August

explorers-map

NOW THAT WINTER IS OFFICIALLY OVER, even though it is snowing outside my window, it is time to start thinking about summer and travel plans. I think I’m going to need to rest up for this.

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In Our Little Hideaway

Kylemore

SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA GET AWAY. A change of scenery, a change of pace, a change of routine.

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Haight Street – Chapter One

In keeping with a Saturday custom: Here is the opening chapter of a novel I am trying to bring back to life. I would appreciate your comments.Haight Ashbury street sign

Chapter One

 It couldn’t have been more different for Marlee Owens. There had always been someone to turn to. There had always been Phillip. He was the kind of man who could hold her hand and go for a quiet walk on a busy street. Now she had to rely on herself.

Now Phillip was dead.

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I Have A Question

mushroom-cloud

I HAVE NOTICED SOMETHING in the last few months that, while not disturbing or earthshaking, I do find curious.

I am about to tread on dangerous ground here.

Styles come and styles go. I understand that, but I see one current hairstyle popular among young women that I just don’t understand. It seems that a huge number of young gals I see at St. Arbucks, in the supermarket, or wherever, are walking around with their hair piled up on top of their heads in what looks like a mini-nuclear mushroom cloud.

My first thought was that it was in “homage” to Marge Simpson of cartoon fame, but that wasn’t it – and none of them had blue hair like Marge. Then it finally dawned on me – these gals all had their hair piled up ala a combination of Olive Oyl from “Popeye” and Mammy Yokum from the “Lil Abner” comic strip. But these women are much too young to know who Mammy Yokum was/is. Al Capp, the creator of Lil Abner, has been dead for decades and I really doubt that any of these hairfull young people have seen the movie musical made in 1959. And I don’t think Popeye gets much play on TV these days. More is the pity.

Could it be coincidence? Is there some new cult around that has them all wearing their hair like that? There has to be a reason. It sure isn’t because they all, independently think, that it is an attractive hairstyle. It ain’t.

As I sit here at St. Arbucks and I look at the corps of baristas behind the counter I see that four out of five have their hair that way. The fifth one is Sean and he hasn’t yet succumbed to the style. I pray that he does not. It would be very off-putting on a man his age. He looks more like Santa Claus anyway.

I don’t purport to be a fashion maven. Far from it. When I entered the time of my life known as “Geezerhood” I had to admit that my favorite music is “Oldies,” my favorite movies are “Classics,” and my sense of style died along with Disco.

I’m not saying that these young folks shouldn’t be allowed to wear their hair in whatever style they choose. I’m just curious that they all seem to be choosing this particular style – one that puts them in danger from low-slung ceiling fans. I’d hate to see anyone injured or maimed in the name of fashion. Platform shoes were risky enough, but they never had potentially fatal consequences. (Alex Trebek may wear them on Jeopardy! but he keeps his hair short.)

I know what you’re thinking – “Doesn’t this Geezer have anything better to do than sit around muttering about our hairstyles?”

Evidently not.

Time To Be Ruthless

Machete

 I RECENTLY DUG UP the file of a novel that I had begun writing about 15 years ago. I had started it when I was still living in San Francisco. That may explain why it was called “Haight Street.”

As I was reading through it two things struck me – that it was still pretty good, and that it needed some severe rewriting.

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Elmer Fudds Of The World, Unite

coyotes

 

I SAW THE MOST INTERESTING STORY this morning on our TV.

It seems that the State of Illinois has a coyote problem. I’m not talking about those people who smuggle other people across the border although I’m sure that might be a concern as well. No, I’m talking about those bushy-tailed furry critters that we usually associate with cowboy movies. The State reports that there are approximately 30,000 coyotes residing in the Land of Lincoln. That’s quite a bunch of predators roaming around Illinois (who aren’t holding elective office).

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What, Me Worry?

what-me-worry

 

I RECEIVED AN EMAIL TODAY informing me that there are new things for me to worry about. My response to them was, “Bite me.”

Not only do I not need new things to worry about, I have been actively making an effort to pare down the list of things that I do worry about.

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Haight Street

Haight Ashbury street signKeeping with a rather new tradition…

Below is a cutting from an unfinished novel set in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco. It is the story of a young widow who has moved west to rebuild a shattered life. This scene is her first day exploring her new hometown.

*****

Her wardrobe was distinctly Midwest Rust Belt plain. It was excessively Earth-toned for a young attractive blonde in California, but she perked up her look with a vibrant scarf and some jewelry. It would do, she thought, as she opened the front gate, set to meet her new neighborhood.

Taking her time, not wanting to miss anything, Marlee window-shopped and ambled into the eclectic commerce of Haight Street.

She considered the latest Rave fashions on the rack at “Housewares”, all to the driving techno-beat from the in-house disc jockey. The iguanas in the window didn’t seem to mind.

She laughed out loud as she looked through the Anarchist Collective Bookstore. Their display of pamphlets and political screeds loudly denouncing the capitalism at which they were so dismally failing. Signs trumpeting a “Half-Price Sale” and “Clearance” were everywhere, alerting the three lost-looking teenage browsers that they too could join the Revolution at a discount.

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What An Evening!

Mummenschanz

WE WENT TO SEE A SHOW last night at a local college – The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. We saw a touring company production of “Mummenschanz” – a show that was a huge hit in the 1980s, running for three years on Broadway.

I have to admit that I have not seen that much toilet paper being put to good use since the day I spent helping out at a Day Care Center.

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Since You Asked

Saint Arbucks

 

THE OTHER DAY I READ A POSTING on another blog that I follow:

http://ryanlanz.com/2015/03/14/why-so-many-people-write-at-starbucks/

He was asking about why people spend time doing their writing at St. Arbucks (The Patron Saint of Jittery People) instead of at home or in restraints or custody, or wherever. His approach was, in my opinion, rather scholarly. He spoke of brain function, past writers having secluded cottages, etc. I was impressed. I thought that I did a lot of my writing there simply because they made better coffee than me.

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Strange Things Are Happening

golf ball

SOME DAYS I JUST WONDER what in the heck is going on. If you had read an earlier posting, from about a month ago, you would have seen my rant about the mysterious apple that appeared in our driveway. One minute it was not there and a minute later it was. Spooky, no?

Well, the apple is long gone, spirited away by the neighbor’s snow blower, but something else has popped into its place. 

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This Is Not Going To End Well

house-of-cards

MY WIFE AND I have been doing some binge-watching. We started with Doctor Who, then moved on to other series – some better than others. Currently we are wrapped up in House Of Cards on Netflix. Without actually looking it up I would guess that this series has about six million episodes. We have just entered Season Three.

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The Five People I Almost Killed

Sedaka

FOLLOWING UP ON PREVIOUS SATURDAYS I have decided to post another piece from my catalog.

This was written as a performance piece to be done in front of a live audience.

 ***** 

I think it is important to stress that in the title of this piece I say “almost killed,” and not “killed.” To the best of my knowledge I have never actually killed anyone. I just tend to come close. Sometimes very close and I’ve done so five times – so far. The five nearly “dearly departed” have all shared one characteristic: they are, or to a large degree were, famous. Let me explain.

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Happy Birthday !

Shemp Howard

WHILE YOU ARE PROBABLY READING THIS on Friday I am writing it on Wednesday. I try to keep a couple of days ahead just in case I get tied up, figuratively or literally, and can’t prepare anything. One never knows. But – to the point.

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Coffee Without A Net

trapeze

HAVING MORE THAN ONE SKILL is a good thing. Having more than one skill that can earn you some money is even better – and much rarer.

This morning I made a short pilgrimage to the Chapel at St. Arbucks to say a prayer or two of thanks for the warmer weather and to get a bagel. Feed the soul and feed the body I always say. Nobody ever listens when I say it, but I do it anyway.

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A Rose By Any Other Name…

Boy named Sue

 

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Quite a bit actually. The names we have can go a long way to deciding our direction in life. If a name wasn’t all that important you wouldn’t see actors and actresses changing their names as they enter the business.  Example: Famous actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg came into this world as Caryn Johnson.

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I’m Gonna Smell For A Week

Fish_Fry

IT’S TUESDAY AND I SMELL.

Last Saturday I volunteered to help out at a Kiwanis Club Fish Fry fundraiser. I was there from 3:30 PM until about 7:30 PM. I helped out selling tickets at the door and greeting the several hundred people who showed up to dine until they dropped. The thing is – I don’t belong to the Kiwanis Club.

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And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

john mom and dad

HOW LONG WILL I LIVE?

I am 68 years old as I write this, and there are no guarantees beyond the next second and, even with that, it is best to check the fine print.

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No Wonder I’m So Tired

pork roast

IT HAS BEEN A BUSY WEEK. I am exhausted. It has been nonstop celebrations all week – one party after another. It’s just too much for a geezer like me.

Let me explain.

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A True Sign Of Spring

Dairy QueenYOU CAN KEEP YOUR ROBINS and your daffodils; I have seen the true First Sign of Spring in our neighborhood. I was driving down the street near home when I saw it. There it was, without a doubt, the one thing that tells me that Winter is on the way out.

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