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 “May, 2016”

Adjusting The Focus

Food5NOW THAT WE ARE HOME, after almost two months in Ireland, there are some things that are obvious only now. We were perfectly comfortable there and had no “When do we go home?” moments. The one exception might be when it comes to food. It was a case of “Close, but no cigar.” It’s just a case of liking the things I’m familiar with.

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Fiction Saturday – The 5 People I Almost Killed – Conclusion

 

AddTextToPhoto(9-9-2015 4-55-5)

And it still is.

For “Fiction Saturday” this is the second and concluding part of this Quasi-fictional account of some strange days.

So…

 

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Returning

luggage_large_1xAs you read this we should, and I emphasize “Should,” be home in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “You have a ton of junk mail waiting for you.”) and dealing with the stresses and strains of jet-lag and culture shock. Hopefully our luggage has arrived with us, but I always feel a bit cynical about that.

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Throwback Thursday – May, 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday 2

The Anti-Bucket List

May, 30 2015
gas station sushi

I WAS SITTING UNDER THE BIG UMBRELLA at St. Arbucks. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and I was thinking of all the things I could be doing. Then I thought, “Screw that.”

I have reached an age, both chronological and state of mind, when I have a list of things I just refuse to do any longer. It is a sort of my “Anti-Bucket List.”

Put a lid on it.

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Whither The Weather

Screenshot 2016-05-11 at 9.53.13 AM - EditedSOME PEOPLE ARE NOT AFRAID to say what they believe. I’m not talking about religious beliefs or anything political or even restaurant reviews. No, I’m talking about the people (I assume that they are actual people) at AccuWeather. Com. When it comes to forecasting the weather these folks don’t know the meaning of the word “Maybe.”

I just went to their website and, according to their seers and their array of Magic 8-Balls; it will start raining again here in 116 minutes – not 115, not 117, but 116 minutes exactly. Now THAT is a weather forecast.

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Nothing Personal, Jeff

edisonWE RECENTLY SAW A PROGRAM on TV listing what the creators of the show decided were the 100 Most Important Inventions in History It was interesting, although I think that some of their inventions would more likely fall under the heading of discoveries rather than inventions – such as Nuclear Energy and Fire. But they never consulted with us about any of this so – Na, Na, Na, Na Boo, Boo. The show is over and Basic Cable remains the same.

The only reason I bring this up at all is that I think that, in their efforts to sound erudite and High-Techie Nerdo-Hipster, they have omitted one true invention that has changed our lives in a significant and earthshaking Physio-Ecomomic-Gastro-Enviro sort of way. (By “Our” lives I really mean Dawn and myself. I can’t speak for the rest of you.)

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Fiction Saturday – The 5 People I Almost Killed

AddTextToPhoto(9-9-2015 4-55-5)This “Fiction Saturday” posting differs a bit from the usual format  –  in that it is (How shall I phrase this?) – embellished truth. Just look at it the way you approach things in your local newspaper.

So…

“The 5 People I Almost Killed” – Part One

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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From The North

4I’M SITTING HERE AT A LARGE WOODEN DINING TABLE in our home for this next week. As I look out the windows what I see are waves crashing on the rocky shoreline near the village of Glencolumcille in County Donegal in the northern rural reaches of Ireland.

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Throwback Thursday – May 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday1The Dark Side Of Terre Haute

May, 23, 2015

terre haute prisonI HAVE HAD A LOT OF FUN with Terre Haute in this blog, with the silly French translations of the name (That’s French for “High Ground”) and some of the funny things that happen around here.

In reality, a place I occasionally visit, Terre Haute is a fine small city. It is a good place to raise your kids and has four institutions of higher learning that offer excellent educational opportunities.

I like it here.

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Do I Hear Bells?

typewriter gifAS YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED by now I am not a fan of either cold or rainy weather – or cold and rainy – and we’ve had a lot of both.

“SO WHAT’RE YOU DOING IN IRELAND YA FECKIN’ EEJIT?”

Well, since you asked…

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I’m Not Saying It’s Aliens, But…

1THERE MAY BE AN INVESTIGATION. For the last two days we have been blessed with clear blue skies and warmer temperatures. In Ireland? Two days in a row. I think it must be Aliens.

For the first week here it was like living inside a really bad carwash. Now, all of a sudden it feels like a day at the beach might be in order.

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Fiction Saturday – Untitiled Story – Conclusion

noir detective office

Untitled Story – Conclusion

The fight in the other room had stopped and the two women were standing in the doorway. I put Little Adam down and he went to his mother’s side.

 Cream, pushed a small lever on the arm of the chair and moved away from the table, facing me. “You have no idea how much we have already, let’s be honest, stolen from my company. We are all rich beyond your feeble imagination. Today was to be our last meeting, finalizing our exile plans, but now you have decided to insert yourself into our affairs.” His voice was rising. H was holding in the desire to do what he was no longer physically able to do.

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A Tasty Dream

ASHE HAD A GREAT IDEA LAST NIGHT.

We were having dinner, polishing off some leftover roast as “Pork Manhattan.”

For the first fifteen minutes there was complete silence as we stuffed our faces – then my wife, the lovely and entrepreneurially minded, Dawn, unleashed a thunderbolt of an idea.

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Throwback Thursday – May 11, 2015

Throwback Thursday 3

Remember – You Called Me

5/11/2015

Not againWE HAVE PUT our home phone number on those “No-Call” lists for years, but it doesn’t seem to work. We still get several calls a week from organizations begging for money, “Canadian pharmacies” selling pills, and a variety of computer scams both foreign and domestic.  Since they called me I consider them fair game for a little verbal knee to the groin retaliation.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to yank their telephonic chains. Feel free to use any of them or simply use them as inspiration to create your own.

Let The Games Begin!!

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A Wee Bit Farther

1IF THERE IS ONE THING YOU CAN SAY ABOUT IRELAND it’s that it is an island. No matter how lost you may become it is undeniable that if you come to the ocean it is time to turn around. Trying to go further can only have bad consequences or the need to learn another language on short notice.

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No Matter Where You go, There You Are

1NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO – THERE YOU ARE.

And things are different wherever you go. Not “better” or “worse,” just different. That is true wherever you are. Everything “at home” is what you are used to, and whether you go to spend the day with your next door neighbor, or cross the ocean to…let’s say, Ireland, for example.

Different.

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Fiction Saturday – Untitled Story – Part Eleven

noir detective office

I knocked on the door and I heard the same dog bark and the same male voice yelling at the dog that I had heard the first time I went down to Pulaski Street.

The dismal future answered the door.

“Hi, mister. You again? What the hell you want?”

“Same as last time. I need to talk with your mother. Is she here, or is she at work?” The filthy, foul mouthed tyke looked back into the room. I could hear his mother yelling at someone and another female voice yelling back. I recognized both of them – the Sisters Tumulski. They were going at it about money.

“That’s all they fight about, Mister. I still haven’t had lunch,” he sighed. I’ll get a beer when they’re done.”

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Cinco de Mayo in Ireland

5I WAS EXPECTING A PIÑATA shaped like a shamrock. Or maybe a sheep – or even a potato, but the perfect image for Cinco de Mayo in Ireland seems to be this.

While St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world, including Mexico, with parades and festivals, Cinco de Mayo doesn’t get much play in Ireland. While the Diaspora planted Irish souls in almost every country on earth, the cross pollination of Mexicans into Ireland has never reached major numbers.

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Throwback Thursday – May, 4 2015

Throwback Thursday 2

Scream, No Sugar

Scream Waldo

 5/4/2015

THE USUAL SUSPECTS WERE DEEP in meditative thought on Friday morning in the Chapel at St. Arbucks when the High Priest (Manager) dropped a bombshell on us. It seems that, following corporate policy, our Chapel will be closing for about two weeks in November. The Bigwigs in Seattle like to remodel every ten years.

I have no problem with the idea of remodeling – it’s just that…

Whatever will we do?

Wherever shall we go for those two weeks?

I now know how Scarlett O’Hara felt when she had to leave Tara

When the Manager told us about it the world fell silent. Birds stopped chirping in the trees. Babies everywhere stopped crying. My Facebook crashed. Someone finally spoke up saying, “It’s the End of Days.” Maybe that’s just what I heard. I think he actually said, “Cool, the joint’s been lookin’ kind of frumpy.”

 What he said really is kind of true. I just hope that it is not looking “kind of frumpy” because of our presence on an almost daily basis. To a large degree this store is a college hangout/study hall and the youngest of the Usual Suspects is 53 years old. Of course, head to head, I think we could take ‘em. We are older and know all the dirty tricks. In Differential Calculus though I’d give them a slight edge – they wouldn’t need Spell Check to get that right.

One of our group was a touch irate, suggesting that they just might want to get rid of us squatting in the corner most mornings. I told him that if that was the case all they’d have to do is drop a few Ex-Lax into his Venti Mocha for a couple of days and he’d be back to visiting with Ronald the Clown who lives down the block.

I guess fate is fate. They are going to remodel. It will be closed for a while and then there will be a glorious Grand Reopening with balloons, music and baristas fresh from Caffeine Rehab. I just get iced coffee, but those people behind the counter down shots of espresso like they were M&Ms. By mid afternoon some of them are so wired you could send Morse Code on them.

Let’s be honest though. Closing this St. Arbucks, for even two weeks is going to be a bit of an upheaval. There are solutions.

There are two other St. Arbucks here in Terre Haute (That’s French for “You can’t get decaf at 2 in the afternoon.). Both of those Chapels are on the other side of town. In LA that would mean a three hour drive, but here that is no more than 15 minutes away – but it’s the principle of the thing – sort of.

I suggested that, for the duration of the remodeling, we adjourn to a locally owned coffee place that is about two blocks away. They make good coffee, they are open early and they have enough room in there so that if someone felt the urge to do some interpretive dancing it wouldn’t be disruptive. That last factor might be a big selling point with the Usual Suspects – Artistic bunch that they are.

This November will be one of those times that try men’s souls. It will be tough. It will call upon us to gird our loins (metaphorically) and to carry on.

This will not be easy for a group of guys who, if this place served alcohol, would be called “Barflies.”

Looking For Ourselves

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(being written on April 21st)

 

TO QUOTE MADELYN KAHN IN ‘BLAZING SADDLES,’ “I’m tired.”

While travel is wonderful and inspiring it can also be flat out exhausting – and I’m not the one doing all the driving. We will be in our next location for two weeks in the town of Carrick-on-Shannon. Two weeks will be most conducive for both I and my wife, the lovely and sabbaticalizing, Dawn.

Time for reading, writing, contemplating one’s place in the universe, looking to both the past and the future, and taking things at a slower and more restorative pace. This applies to both of us.

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