Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

 Outside our living room window this morning, we both heard a god awful screech.  We looked outside and a man in a white car is, very dangerously, doing wheelies in the parking lot of our neighboring park.  He is driving speedily, and then quickly jerking the car in another direction such that some wheels come off the ground and the car, when it rights itself, swivels dangerously.  It is pouring outside this morning. He is racing near a path where we and neighbors often walk. Nearly always there is at least one parent with a baby carriage strolling on the path.  If this was a mild day, the crazed driver could and likely would cause a horrific tragedy.

So what prompts someone to do what this man is doing?  Here is how I deconstruct it. Quite possibly just a wild guess not on the mark.

The fellow wakes up on Thanksgiving. And he believes he has nothing to be thankful for. He is alone, his spouse has left; his children away and not concerned with the dad.  In the midst of COVID he spends his days in a small apartment with no real place to go.  His job looks rocky if it exists at all. COVID has resulted in downsizing and he is living on the edge of solvency with bills coming in that he does not see how he will pay. The people in the next unit play their music too loud, and the noise from their frolicking children reminds him of how empty is his life.  He recounts all the bad turns he has taken to bring him to where he sits.  So, with these negative thoughts coursing through his head, and nothing to do, he gets into his car on a pouring rainy day and drives recklessly in a park where skidding could cause him to smash his car into a brick refreshment stand near the baseball field, the fence for the tennis courts, the pole that supports the basketball hoops, or something, God forbid, human.

The chances are his world is not as bleak as he thinks it is when he gets behind the wheel, but that is the way the head works when one event tumbles onto another on a holiday and one is feeling sad, disrespected, and useless.

Sad to consider this scenario.  But an opportunity to be thankful for all the blessings we have, and maybe an opportunity to reach out to someone who you fear might be having a similarly bad day--particularly on this COVID Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 21, 2020


 What with the bizarre aftermath of the election, with a sitting president of a country founded on democratic principles attempting to undermine that very democracy; what with a pandemic now nearly a year in, exacerbated by the inactivity of leaders including a bona fide head in the tuchas governor of South Dakota who encouraged spreading behavior; what with weather concerns making our environment and the survival of our descendants risky---the following should not be a big deal. But it bugs me.

I woke up today thinking that I need to get a new address book. I have relied on the computer for keeping address and phone number information the last years, and the address books that I used to update annually have not been so updated. I went to write a new address in one of the old books and noted, sadly, that two people on the very page where I wanted to place the new person, are now dead.

I decided that I would get a new book.  Because I am averse to shopping in stores in general, and am cautious in this COVID era about going into any store--and also because I am an Amazon prime member, I figured to do my purchasing on-line. 

I did. I bought my address book. And then I remembered that I had some thank you notes that I wanted to send out. Again, with the advent of computers and generally new technology, I tend to write thank you notes on line.  But I like, at times, to write out notes.  My handwriting is terrible so I prefer pads that have lines on them.  So, after purchasing my address book I went to buy some thank you notes with lines. And that decision prompted this early morning blog.

It prompted the blog because the first several entries on Amazon for stationery, spelled stationery wrong.  These are stationery companies! and they spelled stationery wrong--stationary not stationery.

I guess it is a good thing the companies aren't going anywhere (a joke for all who can spell) but this is an annoyance to a prig like me who feels the least a stationery company can do is learn to spell stationery correctly.  

Does it matter.

Yes it matters.

First it matters because I decided not to purchase any product that spelled the word incorrectly. They can survive without my 20 bucks but perhaps there will be a movement that will gain momentum.

Second it matters because these are two words. One refers to paper and writing products, the other refers to the lack of motion.  "Charlie we need to send out notes about our change of address. Get me some stationary so we can let people know we're not the kind of business that stays stationery."  Write that, and your company might as well be stationary because it is not going anywhere.

It is six am and perhaps I am grouchy anticipating the latest attempt to destroy our country by an amoral megalomaniac; Republican legislators who have the backbone of weak mollusks; and Democratic legislators who are afraid to say boo, thinking--with no sense of history whatsoever--that this all will blow over.  Just like in Germany.

Don't sell stationery calling it stationary or-- I am out to get you.