With this thing in the palm of my hand I can tune into satellites, my TV, DVDs and even AUX, which I assume means Auxilliary items whichI have no clue what those are.
I can control the universe...at least my little portion of it, at least I can pretend I do.
There's that one little red button turns the system on. The other red one , the TV itself. There is menu for settings and images control.
There is the Guide Button to reveal the thousands and thousands of choices from hundreds and hundreds of analog and digital stations that provide viewing choices galore from the CBS Evening News to Golden Girls reruns to documentaries on everything from Aardvarks to Zoology.
I can instantly hit the Recall button to return to the previously watched station and to remind myself what I was watching just a bit ago before I go intrigued by Nova or Home & Garden TV. With the DVR I can watch all the programs I have recorded to watch some other time and usually have already lost interest in, or watched live and forgotten.
If I choose, I can play a PIP, (Picture in Picture), to watch one program while waiting for something interesting to happen on another. If I were inclined, I could track baseball, football, basketball, golf, hockey and ping pong quite easily.
That device in my hand has the magical ability to help me find something that will entertain and delight me. Maybe it will show me the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. Perhaps I will just watch the latest episode of Days of Our Lives to find out who came back from the dead this week.
The choices seem endless.
And yet I wonder how is it those channels can offer so many temptatations and not one of them I am in the mood for?
So I guess when I hold this remote, I feel I am in control of something that will transport me to another realm, a different reality, as Rod Serling said at the beginning of The Twilight Zone each week:
"It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone".
To quell boredom or satisfy the need to be entertained. In the end, though, even I know, the chances are, indeed, remote.
Sometimes I find myself with nothing to say. Perhaps this is one of those times. I have been struggling and avoiding sitting down to blog/write today. Nothing to say. Or perhaps I just didn't feel like saying anything. That's always a good excuse. "Why were you so quiet?" "Nothing to say." "Well that about says it all."
Truth is there is always something to say. Sometimes I just choose not to say it. And honestly, to anyone who is really listening, really hearing what is actually being said, even in silence, knows that it is not true. No one really has nothing to say. They or I just think they have nothing to say....or are afraid to say what they want to say....or are just so done, that to say anything amounts to nothing.
So here it is. My nothing to say, said outlaid. Take it for what you will. I hope you realize, like I just did, nothing said, is saying a lot.
I was taking pictures for an estate sale and came across this old Ford Motor Company car radio in the garage. It is little dusty and dirty, but I bet anything it would still work if connected properly. I wonder if it would work without having to be installed in an old Ford? I don't see why it wouldn't.
It looks like it is just an AM receiver. I guess that means it is very, very old. I like the dial and the large numbers with the red station indicator. The push-buttons were probably for presets. I can just imagine the voices from the past that probably came forth. Maybe an FDR fireside chat or KC Kasem counting down the hits. The music would range from jitterbug to classical to rock and roll and maybe even some golden oldies. News weather and sports on the fives.
Wouldn't be cool to turn the dial and tune into the past? I believe there ar time capsules are inside this ancient device. No, really, it is more than just my imagination. I'll bet every sound wave ever emitted is still lodged somewhere inside the RAM of this machine.
Ah, I would love to use this as a time machine to travel back to simpler times, when TV was black and white and there were only three stations. This radio probably pre-dates the advent of television! But alas, if we did get it working, it would probably tune its transmit from the airwaves of today. Talking heads and modern music. What else is on AM radio these days, anyway? I tend to listen to NPR on FM.
I think this device is a work of art and deserves a place in a nice display case. I'd love to see it actually all hooked up and ready to go, just as it was for so many years in some old Ford, now long gone. It is a fascinating relic of history, plus I really want to push those buttons to see what memories emerge.
Lately I find myself visiting the refrigerator more often. Sometimes I am hungry. Sometimes I am bored. Sometimes I am looking for answers. I'm sure the answers must be inside. I'm just not seeing them. It is the latter that concerns me the most, All suggest more mindfulness.
I go to the door and open it without thinking. I might have just done the same a few minutes before. Hunger? For food or drink, I am sure. But I never see that one thing that will satisfy whatever is hungry in me. Sometimes I drink a bit of orange juice or water. I nibble on the cut up oranges or apples in glass containers. (It really does help to do this as eating an entire orange or apple can be quite intimidating).
Sometimes I go directly for the good stuff in the freezer. Ice cream! Remarkably, I usually save this treat for evening. I do have some discipline, you know.
Often after not finding what might be the answer, I go to the pantry. I look for that perfect snack. Crackers, chips, M&Ms. Sometimes just cereal is good. Again I nibble. Again I am only temporarily sated.
You know I really think it is not hunger that drives me, but boredom or a feeling of emptiness that inspires this behavior. I remember a long time ago when I studied psychology in college this was a subject of discussion. I think they still talk about it occasionally on Live with Kelly & Ryan or The View or even Ellen. It is a subconscious way of quelling the disquiet in our lives. Eatng pushes those feelings down. But, frankly, even knowing this, does not stop me.
So there you have it. The X-Files always said "The answer is out there." I disagree. I truly believe the answer is inside. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong place. Maybe it isn't inside the fridge, but, sigh, inside me. Oh, phoo. Not nearly the immediate gratification I was seeking, but to be honest, in the long run, it might lead to a much longer lasting feeling of satisfaction. I think they call it meditation or internal examination. Whatever it might be called, it is always there, inside. And that's the undeniable truth.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning. There is the hope of a vaccine against the dread coronavirus. People are standing up in unity more and more for social justice. Every day does bring its new challenge. A tweet, a shot in the night, new statistics that alarm.
We will survive.
This picture of a tunnel under of castle somewhere in Italy reminds me of that. It may be dark and dank without much hope, but if I persevere, I will emerge into the light of day. And carry on.
What kind of day will we be entering? What will we find when we emerge for this long, harrowing journey? Everything seems to have changed...and not for the better. And yet I hold on to a hope that we as people will emerge as better people. I keep my hands folded that people will see the light.
I can dream, can't I?
The the COVID pandemic hit, I suddenly found myself with all the time I needed right there on my hands. I sprung into action. I began to purge closets and storage areas. I went through old papers and unworn clothes. I bagged up stuff I didn't need, hadn't used in forever and put it all aside ready for donation.
Then they closed all the charitable organizations.
I thought, okay, now is the time to read, to write and to pursue my photographic passions. I read several books. I wrote letters, blogs, poems. I pulled out my memoir and began jotting down notes, updating some chapters that were written long ago. I created topic files and noted subjects to include.
Then the world began to unravel. Not only a virus sweeping the world and wreaking havoc across our homeland, but political unrest, protests and the seemingly inevitable looting and rioting.
I heard someone describe this as "COVID brain". Its when your ear is to the ground all the time, listening for the next vibratory alert. Its when you can't seem to escape the constant feeling of dread and despair. It's not being able to concentrate on anything for very long. It's not wanting to go out and risk exposure, wearing a mask and being frustrated by the other madness of science deniers and selfish self-centered people who don't like being inconvenienced. Like I do?
It's true. The trouble is you think you have time. I remember thinking that before the world turned upside down in March. And I remember thinking that early on as we were shut in and shut down. But it is not true. You don't have time. Time is not something you have. The time, my friends, is now. And that is why I am writing this, and why I am feeling motivated once again, because if I don't do it now, when? When?
To carpe diem has never been more important.
Surprise! It's September!
For me, the month of September has always seemed like it was the beginning of a new year. School always used to start the day after Labor Day and Labor Day was always the first Monday of September. Maybe that's when things started to go so awry. And so, imagine my surprise, when I awoke this morning and it was September.
How did that happen? Wasn't it just March 17 yesterday? You remember, don't you? That's when they started shutting everything down in the United States. No Saint Patrick's Day celebrations. No saluting the harbingers of spring. And then it was April with a subdued resurrection of Jesus, followed by May with Mother celebrated from afar with few hugs and kisses. Graduations were virtual online affairs with some automotive drive-by processionals to pick up diplomas. Brides kept their wedding dresses in the closet covered in plastic in June waiting for the day when their big day might happen.
It just kept happened...or not happening...all the normal markers of a year passing. Baseball didn't begin until August in a Florida bubble. Other sports finished up what they had postponed from March. There is a new definition for March Madness. July and August passed unremarkably, each day seeming like the one before as we were at first ordered, then strongly advised we were safer at home.
In order March gave way to an April that blended with May and scarcely noticed transition to June and July and August. The world became even more dystopian with the uprising of protests in the streets of most major cites in response to yet another inconceivable and unjustifiable death of a black person. The weather went mad with hurricanes and extreme heat warnings, floods, earthquakes and more. And yet it still feels like March 17 was just yesterday.
And so, yes, it is September. Keep calm.
When the new month was at hand, II was hoping I would be inspired, nay, motivated, to begin again. This blog has been quiet. I've lived on and through Facebook while not seeing or visiting or sharing hugs with friends and loved ones. Wearing a mask wherever I go. That still feels so very "after the end of the world as we know it".
So that is why I am here. I am floundering, flaying, grasping at straws for some sort of normalcy again. But I am reminded that this is our new normal. Some may tweet incendiary thoughts out and let them fall on whomever they may. I prefer to just share my thoughts and musings...for what they are worth...and this, the first day of September.
Alas, the month of July is spent,
wondereth I whereto it went?
My attention seems to others lent,
I cannot fathom wherst July just went.
I woke up this morning and it was August. How did that happen? Seems just last week it was March, then April. The pandemic was swiftly changing everything. And we kept thinking surely it cannot last until summer...the heat will surely kill the virus and buy the scientists time to find the vaccine. But, no, we missed that boat. It is almost as if the boat was on the horizon and was torpedoed.
But here we are. May, June and now July. All gone. All a blur as we stay in our homes more, wear protective gear to go out, if we dare. Hope seems to be flagging quickly. Yet I tell myself do not despair. This too shall pass. It will. That's how things work. We rise and move on.
The first of every month always feels to me the chance for a new beginning. Set new goals. Start new projects. Finish the old ones. Take a deep breath and begin again. Twelve times a year. I noticed, even if you may not have, that I have been distracted from my own life by other priorities. It happens. Time to rein it is again. So here we go.
Even with advent of fire and hurricane seasons, excessive heat waves, pandemic fears, conflict and protests in the streets, twitter storms from above and more, it is what we make of it, how we react to it, that makes the difference. Do what we can as we can.
Let August begin with our hearts beating to rhythm of life as they always have as we soldier on.
This is the entrance to the auditorium at Redford Union High School in Redford Charter Township, Michigan. I attended RUHS from 1966 through 1970. Long time ago. I don't think this entrance has changed much, although I don't remember the stylized drama masks wall art. It might have been there, but I don't know. I do know I like it.
I remember many happy hours in this auditorium. Its where I studied Humanities and Drama with Mr. Mestas. It's where study hall and detention was held. To the right of the doors was where I had Geometry. It was kind of my sanctuary during some very dark and tumultuous days in the rough world of adolescents.
Just to the left of this entrance is where the manual arts were taught. I actually took woodshop, driver's ed, and auto maintenance there. Hadn't thought about those classes in a long time.
I found this picture scrolling through some pictures I took during my last visit to Michigan in 2014. It revived an interest in writing about those days when I wasn't quite sure I would make it to adulthood...wasn't even sure I wanted to make it adulthood. I wonder how many others were feeling the same way? Interesting how I thought I was the only one to have those feelings.
So this is a very significant picture for me. It is one I hadn't realized how much personal history had happened here, like when one very cold winter evening I came our of rehearsals for our production of My Sister Eileen only to find my '65 Corvair encased in ice from a sudden freeze after a light rain. Those were the days.
Memories, I think I'll keep 'em.
I was watching CBS Sunday Morning a bit ago. I always DVR it and watch later. That's just how I control my viewing habits, I guess. There is so little that I can control these days, that, is just one I cling to.
Anyway, one of the stories was about a little Indian restaurant at a truck stop in Laramie, Wyoming*. An Indian restaurant. Laramie, Wyoming. Truck stop. Who knew it would be a hit? It's worth checking out the story at the link below. Seems different cultures can find ways to co-exist.
What I'm musing on though is the afterward for me. Suddenly I was hungry for, you guessed it, Indian food. I thought, well, I can just run out closer to dinner time and grab some Indian food at one of my favorite Indian food places nearby. My tongue could taste it. I even began to salivate. Yumm!
I googled the restaurants near me. Ghandi. Namaste. Both I like a lot. Then I realized I hadn't been to either in months, not since before the Great Pandemic. Yes, they were open, though. But no dine-in. Online orders only. Pick up or delivery. Convenient. But somehow second best. Not the same as being in the restaurant, smelling the variety of aromas. The smiling staff. Sharing with friends.
Suddenly I was very sad. Tears began to form in my eyes. Even if there was in store dining, its six feet apart, face masks, hand sanitizers, etc. The new way of life. The New Normal. (Insert expletive here).
I will probably check with my neighbor and see if they are interested in Indian food tonight. I'll make the run. But I don't know what I want. And usually you share dishes at the table while sipping wine and passing the naan.
It's not the same to bring it home in a box and take it to your house and eat it in front of the TV. Thanks to those who failed to protect us, to act and protect us from this thing called the New Normal.
Maybe I'll just have some leftover spaghetti again tonight.
*Here's a link to the story: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-taste-of-india-at-a-wyoming-truck-stop/