How many times have I shared this? It feels right to share it again.
Imagine a meeting between Fred Rogers and ______________. I’m trying but it isn’t going well. I expect _____________ would, at a minute in, grow tired of Mr. Rogers’ measured verbal cadence and excuse himself. Happily, Senator Pastore heard him out and resisted President Nixon’s request to cut PBS’s budget by more than half (in light of the financial needs occasioned by the Vietnam war). $9M became $22M thanks in part to the sometimes gruff and impatient Senator. I can’t imagine how many lives have been made better by having Fred Rogers on screens during their childhood. My sincerest thanks to both Mr. Rogers and Senator Pastore.
I just made a single serving cake in a cup in the microwave. It wasn’t the best cake I’ve made, and it was certainly the least attractive, but I felt joy in the making and eating of it. Wonder, too, as I watched it rise in seconds through the back-lit window. There wasn’t an Easy Bake Oven in my childhood, but if I’d had one I would have worn it out.
Yesterday we passed part of a rainy day watching on Netflix The Birth of Saké. I recommend it. I drank a glass of Momokawa saké while we watched the documentary. I recommend that, too. Watching a small team work and live together for seven months in the brewery reminded me of my nephews’ love of summer camp. It wasn’t a stretch. They were on my mind, as was their camp, because yesterday the younger of the two posted their picture wearing camp t-shirts and counting down the days to their next visit. They love camp as much as a 60-year old man who loves making saké loves his brewery.
Last night I baked pasta with red sauce made from garden tomatoes and basil. Before it went in the oven, I laid atop saucy pasta a few strips of seitan chickpea cutlets and Daiya shredded mozzarella. Twenty five minutes at 350 worked well. I haven’t in a decade had parmesan like stuff with which to finish pasta dishes (the offerings at the store seem too expensive), but I suspected the dish would benefit from extra salt, fat and umami so I whizzed in a bladed coffee grinder cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic and salt. Took about a minute and it is delicious. Recipe in this cookbook. A side of sautéed spinach with lemon and roasted garlic rounded out the meal. It was, as they say, a hot ticket.
I’m a hundred pages shy of finishing John Irving’s In One Person. As I turn the pages, I find myself looking in on the life of a bisexual man. The 1960s and 1970s were no cakewalk for Billy, the protagonist, and then the 1980s and the AIDS crisis show up. As Billy is leaving the home of a childhood friend who had just moments before died of complications from AIDS, he notes that President Reagan didn’t mention AIDS during the first seven of his eight years in office. What a president fails to mention can be as important as what a president mentions.
Yesterday our Mayor tweeted a reminder of our new law requiring drivers to slow down and move over when passing first responders and road workers. This was something I’ve always done for anyone on the side of the road. I didn’t take drivers ed or or formal driving lessons, so I don’t know who to thank for the good advice. I rarely see road users here do it, hence the need for the law. But laws without education don’t save lives. Just like our relatively new safe passing law protecting cyclists–laws are ineffective until advertised. I thanked the Mayor for her reminder of the road workers’ protection law and asked her to also remind her followers of the cyclists’ safe passing law. It wasn’t the first time I have asked, but I still haven’t seen a single tweet, poster or PSA. It’s too cold for even crickets to sound. Silence reigns.
Last week I was close passed by a speeding Albany police cruiser. Later that week I pedaled my heart out to stay ahead of a CDTA bus–I wasn’t in the mood to take the lane or be close passed. Luckily, the bus stopped to pick up a passenger who needed to load a bike. This gave me time to get to CVS ahead of the bus. The CDTA representative I was working with has stopped responding to my emails (I last wrote on September 22, 2016). I haven’t made it to an Albany Bicycling Coalition meeting.
My toenail is still black, but other than the components I removed from the damaged frame there are no other visible reminders of the car hitting me. The frame was taken away by a new frame builder who plans to use it to learn how to unbraze lugs. I can sometimes roll ten or twenty feet before the accident reel replays in my head. My rollers never felt so good. Work to do upstairs.
A dear friend recently died. He lived in Nebraska when we did but moved across the river to Iowa when they legalized same sex marriage. He took his restaurant with him. I haven’t been to the “new one,” the one in Iowa, but I know it is, like the Nebraska location was, as much a sanctuary as a place to get good grub. Rob is probably rubbed raw from all the hugging, but I wish I were there to offer one more. Who the heck is Lydia?
I miss my dog. We’ve submitted applications for two local dog rescue groups. We have some travel to enjoy before bringing a new friend into our life. We have to stay strong for a couple of months. Can I close my heart for that long? I have to remember how I used to do it as I ate meat in front of vegetarian friends. All I had to do was say “I’ll have what they are having,” but I didn’t. I closed my heart once–I can do it again. A skill I would do well to unlearn.
I should go. Be the love that is lacking in the lives of others. Okay?