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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

Here we are, in the middle of another heatwave, and my First Edition’s Parnassus book was waiting for me on the front porch this morning. I left the house early to score some parmigiana cheese to make the pesto my August basil is telling me it’s time to make.

The book of the month is, “Chance’s Are…” by Richard Russo. He is a Pulitzer Prize winner, so I couldn’t wait to dig in; there’s always tomorrow for pesto…

Three 60-something-guy-friends are meeting up on the Vineyard and we flashback to 1969, when they were seniors in college and gathered around a TV to hear their draft numbers announced – like me standing in a deli line waiting for my number. Not. Not like that AT ALL. It’s hard, as a woman today, to imagine the gravitas of that first draft call for our young men in December of ’69. I know that some of my friends had to go to Viet Nam:

Who wouldn’t want to go to Southeast Asia and be shot dead in a jungle?

Some, like my brother Dr Jim, accepted his fate and enlisted; he went to OCS just to get it over with. My step-brother Dr Eric became a med-evac helicopter pilot, cause he told the Army he wasn’t about to shoot people; some friends were deferred for good and sometimes sketchy reasons, and some of them did a walk-around, like Lyle. He ended up training bomb-sniffing dogs in the states. I don’t know how that happened and unfortunately Lyle died last year in Vietnam, so I guess we’ll never know.

My starter marriage husband joined ROTC in 1969 at Harvard Law School. It was supposed to transition him into the National Guard, but that never happened. Clerical error?

Bob got a low number, but fortunately had well-documented asthma as a kid. Even today, if I get a bronchitis, he gets pneumonia. The Bride and the L’il Pumpkin unfortunately have inherited his reactive airway disease, which has been pretty scary in the middle of the night. Great Grandma Ada reminds us that asthma will keep our little Grandbaby Boy safe, always. I try not to think it can also kill you.

In the wake of Woodstock nostalgia, which Gma Ada made Bob retell again this past weekend, I find myself feeling adrift. The Big Chill group did a Face Time chat on the day of their arrival in a re-purposed school bus. Bobby, Dickie, Jeff and friends. They were heading into the unknown of a prolonged camping trip with music, mud and acid; while i was heading into a marriage in Cambridge, MA I thought would save me. A nice Catholic boy. Mea Culpa.

Bob’s been sounding wistful. Long before cell phones, how did he ever find Albie in the newspaper taxi on the road to Yasgur’s Farm?

I’ve been wondering what the hell was happening in 1969? We landed on the moon. We went to a concert about Peace and Love in a field. And we started a draft to send our best and brightest off to be slaughtered. What a country.

But even earlier, we imported slaves to our shores and killed Native Americans with impunity. 400 years ago, in 1619, twenty Africans came to Jamestown, Virginia in chains. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

And today a New York City cop was fired, finally, for killing an African American man selling cigarettes on the street in Staten Island. Despite clear video of the man in a choke-hold saying, “I can’t breathe,” it only took five years and a social movement to convince the police chief that Eric Garner didn’t need to die. Anyone wondering why we need a Black Lives Matter revolution should read last Sunday’s Times. And vote for Bernie!

I’m not sure who I’m voting for yet, but my fear is that Mr T, President “Bone Spur,” may try to slide us into another war, you know, for his numbers. His polls are dropping. And with him, it’s all about the numbers, the size of the crowd. Dr Freud would know exactly what that’s about!

Here is the school bus and the newspaper taxi 50 years ago. Did you know where your children were?

 

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Is this the real life, or must we upload a picture to social media in order to “Make it so?” The famous Freddie Mercury song, Bohemian Rhapsody, has been swirling around in my head. First of all, the Rocker scored the incredible trailer for the biopic about Mercury https://www.cbsnews.com/news/see-the-first-trailer-for-queen-biopic-bohemian-rhapsody/

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see

And then of course we have our first Reality Show President, working tirelessly behind the scenes to encourage Chief Justice Tony Kennedy, his buddy, to retire NOW. Everyone knows there’s business as usual, and then outside the boardroom all the deals are made in advance. Thank “The Apprentice!” Ivanka takes her daughter on a tour of the Supreme Court courtesy of Tony. Turns out the Donald worked closely with “Tony’s boy” at Deutsche Bank, arranging for loans when other banks wouldn’t touch him.

Bob and I have been helping the Great Grands turn their apartment into a home and dreaming about our own real estate dynasty. What if we, Baby Boomers, the last of a dying breed with secure financial futures thanks to pensions,  401(k)s, and Social Security, were to reinvent retirement? I know I’ve mentioned this before but hear me out: How about a Reality Show for Alta Kakas!?! If you are new to Yiddish, this is an endearing swear word for old people.

I know I know, The Golden Girls. Thanks to Women’s Liberation, we are now dying off in similar numbers so we have to think about the guys right – plus, that was then, when everyone went to Florida. And even though Betty White is an icon, that was a sit-com; I’m talking reality baby, like “Big Brother” only with seniors. Can you see it, a food fight breaks out in the dining room with rice pudding flying everywhere. I would call it “Golden Disrupters.”

Or maybe film this reality show on the water. Did you know there are retirees called “Great Loopers” who put their boats in the water and spend their last days cruising the intercoastal waterways of the South. They bisect Florida on the Okeechobee canal, thereby avoiding the Keys. It’s kinda like Glamping, and definitely not yachting.

Whatever we end up doing on our Golden Pond, I suggest to you that indeed we CAN escape reality, in fact we MUST in order to save our sanity! And Art has always been a great way to circumvent conflict and chaos. In true Adalisciousness, we have turned a second bedroom into an art studio. Here the Bride joins her to paint lilies from a neighbor’s garden.

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Fair warning. I’m going to talk about marijuana, simply because it’s in the news this week. Recreational sales of weed will be increasing the tax revenue of the state of Colorado by many millions of dollars. The prohibition is over; the plant grown as hemp by Jefferson and enjoyed in colonial days has finally come out of the college closet with a grow light. And it’s high time too!

Here we are, in 2014, beginning to realize that non-violent, drug offenders are clogging up our prisons and it’s time we treated addiction like the public health issue that it is. Let’s regulate and tax our fellow citizens, like we’ve done with alcohol and tobacco. And finally, everyone is confessing to a dalliance with pot in their past. After all, even our President wrote a book about his youthful indiscretions.

But most notably, the semi-conservative NYTimes columnist, David Brooks, copped to his high school experience with weed, where he felt like a loser in English class in his article, “Been There, Done That.”

He was forthrightly mocked: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/03/david-brooks-pot-column_n_4537463.html

Well I don’t know about you dear reader, but virtually everyone I know has tried pot. Yes, they inhaled it and proceeded to empty out their parent’s pantry. But then again I’m one of those Baby Boomers, our mantra was “Why not?” May I remind you that the Big Chill went to Woodstock… 6020_1115890693726_5811966_nThen again, we were older. In high school we were clueless.

My friends in the next generation, a decade younger, were introduced to weed earlier, and I have to admit, I think it’s tantamount to child abuse. The still developing adolescent brain can be damaged by all that dopamine, and IQ just may be affected. Who wants their kids living in their basement forever? Pot is not supposed to be physically addictive, but it can be psychologically addicting. It can develop into an expensive habit. Albeit, one that leaves you feeling very zen most of the time.

What if someone started smoking daily in high school and didn’t stop until they had a baby? That’s more than 20 years! I asked my Pulmonology Fellow SIL about the risks of cancer and heart disease for long-term pot smokers. He said since weed has been illegal, there haven’t been many studies addressing these problems, but I found one out of California, naturally. http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2012/01/11282/marijuana-shown-be-less-damaging-lungs-tobacco

So my advice – brownies! Now that all those Rocky Mountain High dwellers can just go down to their local dispensary and order up some King Tut Kush for $45, http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sfl-colorado-marijuana-20140102,0,4217222.story why not make some ghee butter and bake some brownies? Thereby avoiding any possibility of future respiratory disease.

You’ve all seen the ACLU graph about African American kids being three times as likely (I repeat 3x) to be arrested for possession of marijuana with or without the intent to distribute than White kids…which amounts to a type of apartheid in this country. ACLU_5_0Even Chris Hayes fesses up to carrying some weed into a Republican convention in his eyeglass case, and realizing he was not arrested because of the cop’s perception of his privilege.

http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/chris-hayes-i-was-nearly-arrested-for-weed-106355779668

I believe that about 10% of the population may develop a problem with weed. Because that’s about the same number of recreational drinkers that may become alcoholic. In other words, they go from having a couple at parties, to binge drinking in college with an occasional blackout, to hiding a bottle in the garage and drinking every day. They lose their jobs and their families, and end up in court over a DUI. Their life goes downhill slowly, over many years. They change jobs, they move, they repent; but they never blame the bottle, they keep drinking.

What will a marijuana addict look like? That 1 person out of 10 people lighting up legally for recreational use. Well, he’ll probably not drive fast, in fact he may be picked up for driving too slow. He or she will most likely be similar to the alcoholic. They will suffer years of recrimination, rejection, and reprimands for a life that somehow was derailed. But he or she won’t be thrown into jail and become a caricature on Orange is the New Black, they will avoid that path. The double standard inherent in our justice system will cease to exist in Colorado.

Now let’s share our recipes for double fudge brownies with our Denver friends. Rocky Mountains, the Blue Ridge salutes you!

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