Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Saturday, August 28, 2010

how the Grand Canyon was formed

Once upon a time Mrs God noticed a leak under her kitchen sink and pointed it out to her husband, but hey, he was Mr God for heaven's sake (haha!), kinda busy if you hadn't noticed, and he promised to get around to fixing it, and Mrs God said good grief, she'd figure out how to do it herself, but Mr God hadn't made Home Depot yet nor had he made Google or YouTube or AskHow; so the leak just got worse and worse and now people go marvel at the Grand Canyon and as the family lines up for photos in front of the spectacular view, back home water is dripping under their sink.

What do you have to stuff down a garbage disposer to gnaw a hole through the side? I don't know either but my ten-year-old garbage disposer developed an actual hole in the back wall, near the top. It looks like a tiny spot just dissolved, as though acid ate through it or something equally unlikely. Speaking of looking, it is virtually impossible to look at the back side of a garbage disposer. It's pitch dark and also, literally, over my head when I am crammed in there with both a flashlight and a negative outlook.

Recently, I noticed some little puddles under the sink and supposed the water splattering around under there was coming down that mysterious hole where the sprayer hose lives. A while back, feeling very virtuous, I cut up the leftover piece of vinyl flooring from the builder and laid it under all the sinks so it wouldn't die all curled and wasted out in the hot garage. This speck of foresight prevented the scummy disposer drool from ruining the particle board cabinet floor; I wholeheartedly recommend that you also put something under your sinks in case your disposer, in solidarity with mine, gets a hole in it.

Anyway, once I discovered the gruesome little wound and covered it with duct tape (thumbs up on the duct tape, God) while I pondered my options, I watched the Home Depot DIY video and decided that, although I am certain that replacing a disposer that lived ON TOP OF the sink would be well within my plumbing expertise, actually installing one OVER MY HEAD and UNDER THE SINK was pushing my skills, and my biceps, where they will not go.

An extra workday option appeared this week; which I elected to see as a divine nod to buy a disposer. A. bravely volunteered to install it while he is here making sure I don't die after I have my teeth pulled in two weeks. (Naturally I don't anticipate dying, but somebody has to call the coroner lest I end up like that poor woman buried under mountains of refuse in her house for three months while everyone, even her husband, hunted for her. Even those search dogs couldn't find her. But anyway, where was I?) My mom and grandma fixed their own broken crap and built the structures they needed and I appreciate the legacy, but I surrender on this one. I'm sure another chance to wield my homeowner skills will appear next week to test my resolve and prove that each successive generation is indeed weaker and less resourceful than the last.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dancing on Sunday

I have not read the whole constitution since the eighth grade. I passed the test, so I must have absorbed some of it. Now, I only read the parts that are relevant to whatever issue is at hand. So I am not an expert. Don't start with me, I'm only writing a blog about what I think, not debating constitutional law. I understand there are a lot of ways to interpret what was written then. We don't talk like that anymore, so it's hard to get through.

I have not read the whole bible. I have read parts of the bible, but I am not a scholar by any stretch of the imagination. Obviously, various religions claim the bible insists they conform to this rule or that one, and it is clear to most that there is much disagreement among the faithful. The world would be a much more peaceful place if all the religions of the world agreed. And if you thought the constitution was a tough read, dip into the bible.

I have, however, read US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's decision overturning Proposition 8. I know we tend to vote with our hearts, but I can't understand how Proposition 8 passed. My heart doesn't get it. Apparently the majority of voters felt in their hearts that the marriage of two men or two women is just plain wrong and it didn't matter what the constitution says about that. Maybe it felt icky or dangerous or something. Maybe it threatened their beliefs about their own marriages, or their children's marriages.

My dad used to say, what do you know for sure? In truth, not much. You never know what anyone thinks: If I hear myself saying "He thinks he's the smartest man in the w--" I make myself STOP and start over. "He seems to think he's the smartest man in the world" because I don't know if he thinks that or not. He sure seems to, though.

Voters seemed to think that gays were not constitutionally permitted to marry. Judge Walker looked it up: Oops, that's not in there. Looks like you can get married if you want to. Will this negatively affect the marriages of straight people? How? Will it shrink the pool of eligible bachelors itching to marry me? Not likely. Will it tread on the beliefs of many who interpret the bible to say same-sex couples can't marry? You bet, but now we're not talking about the law anymore.

The bible might tell me not to dance on Sunday, but there's nothing in the constitution that says I can't. Strike up the band.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Culture tantalizes the working poor

Sue,  Pam,  Patrick,  Mom,  Mike and  me at Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon
So this weekend, all five siblings, my mom, and my lone maternal cousin visiting with his wife (plus numerous supporting cast) gathered at the Shakespeare Festival to see some plays, eat, and visit. Like our annual spring ski trip in Reno, we love to all be together when we can but our homes are all spread around now and it can be a challenge. One by one, retirement is creating more spare time. I am reminded that many families don't get along as well as we do. If they were as lovable as we are, though, they would.

It's a little cumbersome to all eat together but it helps that there is SO MUCH delicious food in Ashland. Highlights for MY palate: chili-lime shrimp; browned butter and sage ravioli, remarkable risotto, tapas including some fabulous ribs, chevre mushroom somethings, a ginger citrus martini, dreamy truffle ice cream...heavens, it was all so good. We walked everywhere we went but unfortunately not nearly far enough to compensate for the triple dose of calories.

One brother and his wife always read and study the plays and are well versed in plotline and characters. I didn't pay enough attention beforehand so Twelfth Night was a little blurry for me but as there was no essay test afterward, nobody cared. I already knew the story of Pride and Prejudice which was laugh out loud funny and romantic if the modern gal in me overlooks the terrible burdens of marriage and class in that era. I wish I could afford to see all the season's plays but as tickets cost a bag of gold I'm lucky to see two.

The last time we had real photos taken was [never mind how long ago] when my eldest sister turned fifty. Lets just say, we ALL had much browner hair then. A photographer met us in gorgeous Lithia Park where even the sorriest subjects cannot help but look much lovelier. Our family all looked just fine going in, so our coordinating blue shirts must have tipped the scales; I think the finished pictures will be wonderful. Plus, our hair matches now. We looked rather like folksingers playing a county fair. A senior bowling team. Aging, but not crumbling.

When I got home last night my laptop had decided to be ON all weekend (it has a penchant for not shutting OFF when told to do so). It was hot as a pistol and refused to connect to the wireless internet. The very patient Charter technical support rep would not walk me through all the steps that Lillie performed last time that happened, but he helpfully told me how to bypass the outlaw router and connect to the Charter modem which I don't even remotely understand except that now (if I want to use it) the laptop has to sit, essentially, on top of the old PC, a few inches from the modem. I can't lounge on the sofa with my laptop in my lap, now sporting a redneck, portable-tv-atop-the-busted-console-tv feel. Before long, someone who knows what to do will stop this jury rigged nonsense, but last night it had that algebra-class, I'm sorry but I can't follow anything you are saying, sensation. I was very grateful that the rep and I will never meet in person. I guess if I had to send letters back and forth like Elizabeth Bennet, this might seem less pathetic.

If there is a way to (that is, for ME to--different issue) post a picture of how adorable we looked this weekend, I will do it. I know you cannot wait.