Mel Tillis is dead at 85. He wasn’t as famous as the performers who made his songs into hits, and unless he was singing, he had a stutter. He mattered to me because of two things: he got up on stage and spoke despite the stutter, and he wrote “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” in 1967. Continue Reading…
I’m preparing for a open-water swim across Provincetown Harbor (charity event) in September, so I train at Walden Pond in the early mornings. It is a gorgeous place. There are a fair number of us swimming across and back, as well as trout fishers on the shore and the occasional boater. This morning I was making my way across for my first lap when a man fell off his paddle-board. I switched to the sidestroke and asked if everything was okay. “Yes,” he said cheerfully, clambering back aboard. “Happens all the time.” I wished him well and returned to the forward crawl, and then it occurred to me that I had just had a mundane social interaction, in 40 feet of water. I love my weird life.
Could we resolve to be kinder to large people? I had an eye-opening experience on a recent flight. I was seated in coach, the aisle seat, with 2 other women. One was a little smaller than I, the other a little larger, but we all fit easily into the seats. Before takeoff, I heard some raised voices, and then the flight attendant came by, eyeballing each row. I saw her lock in on us, and sure enough, she stopped. Speaking quietly, she said there was a problem up front, with a passenger who refused to put the armrest up to accommodate a larger man. It was getting ugly. Continue Reading…
Happy to answer a question posted by NCG, and I apologize for hijacking the RBC with service dog issues . . . I guess I’m not that sorry. I didn’t start it. NCG wanted to know if I need my balance-walker dog in the airplane cabin. It’s a familiar question. Children often ask to pet my dog when we’re in a restaurant, for example, and when I explain that they can’t pet him because he’s working, I get the kind of withering look that only a pre-schooler can give, and they point out that he is just lying there. No, I don’t need my dog once I’m seated in a restaurant or the airplane cabin, but I need him to get me there and back. If I can’t have my dog in the airplane cabin, here’s what my business trips would look like: Continue Reading…
These are some of my fabulous neighbors. Susanna is wearing the hat she knitted. Her mom is a doctor who works for social justice. Dad is wearing a hat Susanna made for him by sewing pink cotton socks to a baseball cap so Dad could be a bunny, not a pussy. To make his position clear, however, Dad carried a sign that read: “Bunnies for pussies.” I drove 8 people in my Forester to the train station (you’re right, that meant three people in the cargo space) and we all marched.
Thrilling to see all the girls and boys who came. Check out the girl with the sign written in French. Oligarchs beware.
We’re working on it, Mike.
All due respect, you’ve made a couple of significant legal errors. Those dogs you’re complaining about? They are virtually all “emotional support” or “comfort” dogs. The status derives from a letter from a clinician saying that the person has an emotional condition and needs the dog to comfort or calm him or her. Yes, there’s a lot of abuse. And I don’t know why those dogs are allowed to be held in a lap during a flight.
Service dogs are different. I have had two and I’m waiting for my third to complete his training. The photo above shows me and Cormet, with the BOTEC team in DC. For a better explanation of how these dogs can help, take a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUvk2ODcw6hA0OuSXU1kjl1w&v=KtRvDeMumFU Continue Reading…
Take a look at the video and read the article:
Here it is, 7 years after the arrest of Professor Gates, and the Cambridge Police have done it again. I will not tar the whole department with the brush properly applied to Det. Sgt. Ahern, (and a breath test notwithstanding, I’m betting he had been bending his elbow at the tavern across the street just before this act of testosterone-fueled lunacy) but for his acquiescence, the Commissioner deserves a thrashing. Continue Reading…
Predictably, the BOTEC team took it hard. In our Slack feed, I posted the final stanza of a favorite poem by Emily Dickinson:
After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?
The Feet, mechanical, go round –
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –
This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –
I don’t deal well with feelings. In the wake of tragedy, I ramp up activity, particularly things that will leave me with a sense of accomplishment. With due respect to the psychologists (Hi, Keith!) who will doubtless disagree, I do not find that talking helps. Maybe later, but probably not. I clean out closets, basements, pantries, when bad things happen. I remove dust from the top of each book with the little vacuum cleaner attachment. Yes, it gives me distance from the bad thing, but there is a pragmatic reason, too. Today you will not dither about discarding shoes that were expensive but hurt your feet. Today you will see clearly that you do not need a hedge trimmer since you hacked down the hedges after Martha Coakley’s loss to Charlie Baker. And exercise. I’m headed to the pool, now.
It’s true, I got our fearless leader to spend 2 days in Vermont at a fishing lodge with no cell service and no internet access. Confession: after 12 hours, I tried to hack the lodge’s router.