Friday, September 30, 2016

smells from downstairs, in 5777

I'm in my office. My son is downstairs cooking something divine for me and Wayson, who will arrive shortly for dinner; the smell in this house is making my mouth water. Sam just shouted with joy - a small plane was circling overhead, bearing a banner advertising Harry's, his new restaurant, which opens next week. And once it does, he will not be working in my kitchen any more, he will be working at Harry's.

I realized this morning that my body ached, my shoulders and neck stiff with tension - because of yesterday's events. It was terrifying, wondering if that young woman, carrying a huge burden of grief and pain, was all right. A tremendous relief to hear that she took herself somewhere where she'd be looked after. Thank you, thank you to our medical system, which provides a large hospital where people not in physical but in psychological distress will be cared for. May she emerge soon and better.

Our world is not in a good place. The images from Syria alone are beyond bearing, let alone so many other troubled places. Why now are these appalling human beings emerging triumphant - especially Trump and Putin, but many others? A recent article in the New Yorker I haven't been able to tackle yet on the new face of fascism in Germany - a beautiful young woman. Why is racism, sexism and xenophobia flourishing? How is it possible that a man like Donald Trump, mind-bogglingly ignorant and vile, commands an enormous amount of our time and energy?

Stop. Concentrate on the gifts - those smells from the young man at work, creating something wonderful in the kitchen; the roses, the grey sky, the trees still green, the season shifting and the planet turning, as it does. As it has. And then, go back to work.

It's the Jewish New Year. Happy 5777 to you all.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Missing Kat

Suddenly, putting everything into perspective, we are dealing with a crisis. One of Anna's dear friends, single mother of Eli's friend Finn, is missing. She was depressed and in difficulty. We are extremely concerned. Finn spent last night at Anna's and is now with his father. For his sake, we pray with all our might that she turns up soon.
An hour later - Kat is safe. She turned herself in to CAMH, the local centre for mental health, and is being looked after. Thank God. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Annals of Aging Part 1

Hillary continues to inspire, but the giant orange blowhole has not yet disappeared up his own @#$#. Please God make him go away, far far away forever. The editorials in every sensible newspaper are telling him to go @#$ himself, and still, there he is.

I've decided to start a new section of this blog called Annals of Aging, to chronicle my descent into my golden years. No, my ASCENT. Climbing up to a ripe old age, that's a better image.

I have wrinkles that bug me - those nasty vertical cuts above my lips and eyebrows and the ones lining my cheeks. Okay, I'm not shrivelled yet, but there are lines. I'd heard about retinol, the miracle cure for aging skin, so got a prescription from my doctor. It said to start slowly in case of reaction so I did - it seemed fine. Smeared it on night after night and waited for the starry glow of youth to return.

Instead, what started to glow was my wrinkles, in patches of raw red. Though I stopped using the stuff months ago, the lines between my brows and bracketing my mouth are still - not smoothed out, but bright red. Horrible; worse than before. I think there is a lesson about vanity here.

Sigh.

I'm in the obsessive stage with my book - as if it's a helpless infant that cannot be left alone, everything revolves around it. The finish line - at least of this draft, this go-round - is in sight. I think. I love it, my little creation. Will the rest of the world? Who cares?

I do. And here's another brilliant creation - a new canvas by Paul Klee they've just discovered at the Louvre.
I promise I won't do this too often, but ... it's actually a self-portrait by my grandson the genius.

It's the heaven of autumn out there, warm by day, chilly at night, the garden fading yet still magnificent in its last burst of beauty.
I just picked 30 ripe cherry tomatoes. How I'll miss going out and returning with treasure. Soon time to put the garden furniture away and pull out the boots.

Climbing up to winter. Time for a glass of red.


Monday, September 26, 2016

the debate! McKelsey defined.

The debate was fun, and I didn't expect it to be - I ran home (FACT CHECK: she lies - she actually took a taxi!) from my class at Ryerson, got in at 9.25 and turned on the TV. What drama! Impossible to believe, as I tweeted, that we had to waste our time, and even worse, that Hillary had to waste her precious time, listening to that moronic narcissistic imbecile.

Many decades ago, when I was in my early teens, my parents learned about a concept called McKelsey - perhaps the name of the social scientist who developed it, such a powerful concept I never forgot it. You could listen to a person's conversation and check their McKelsey rating - which means, the number of times they said the word "I" or talked about themselves only. A person who responds to any question, any conversation, with talking only about themselves has a very high McKelsey rating.

And Mr. Trump is the quintessential, unparallelled superstar of McKelsey. Everything, every single thing, only about himself. Even at the end - he walked off surrounded by his skinny women and his sons Beavis and Butthead. She dove into the crowd and so did her people - Bill, Chelsea et al.

I know from Twitter that EVERYONE was watching - fun to sit with computer and TV and follow them all. I got to follow a lot of smart people, and now I'm watching the Daily Show while eating peanut butter toast. She may have saved the world. Life is good.

"As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities and nations around the world or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina." Hillary Clinton.

I understand that many people are hurting and want simple answers to complex questions. But truly, if anyone, anyone, can emerge from this debate and still want to vote for an egotistical moron, I will lose my faith in the planet. Hillary, with 100 million plus people watching, was magnificent. End of story.

my boychik

My Vancouver Chris just sent this, saying it popped up on a site he was reading:
I know that face. I know that face extremely well. He finished his job at The Gaslight on Bloor last night, after two good years there; the local Neighbourhood Watch, most of whom were his regulars at the bar, bought him an $175 bottle of Scotch as a farewell present. Now he's one of the managers at a new-old venture on King St. West - Harry's. Grant Van Gameren, the superstar restauranteur, a school chum of Anna's, has taken over a greasy spoon that's been there for 48 years and has vowed to upgrade slightly but otherwise leave it as the comfortable Parkdale local it has always been. Sounds like the ideal place for a very funny, very tall young man who dislikes pretension and loves to help people be happy and full.

I think his mother, sister and nephews will also enjoy a burger or twelve there. It opens soon.
Bravo, my son. Onward.