Poison Skittles

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(google image)

“Life is like a bag of Skittles . . .  you never know what you’re gonna get.”
I am semi-plagiarizing the character Forrest Gump’s famous line from the film Forrest Gump.

Donald Trump, Jr. likens Syrian refugees to “poison Skittles.” How fitting that a man of no taste refers to people he knows nothing about as a multi-colored confection.

His tweet:

“This image says it all.  Let’s end the politically correct agenda that doesn’t put America first.”

This is the caption below the gleaming white bowl of Skittles with the Trump/Pence logo: “If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

Hmm. White bowl, colored Skittles. This could also be seen as racist, could it not? Like the white ruling class holding the non-white people in a bowl (earth?) and controlling them. Alas, I do digress.

The white color could symbolize purity and innocence and the candies inside, the unknown or the impure? Perhaps it is a cautionary tale for trick-or-treaters. After all, Halloween is fast upon us. Should we withhold  mini bags of Skittles gathered  by our jubilant children at All Hallows’ Eve, for fear they may be in possession of a tainted one? So many questions.

What are your thoughts on the poison Skittles predicament?

 

Locker Room Chronicles

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(google)

A couple weeks ago I lost my mother’s necklace. The week before, two pairs of earrings and a necklace of my own.  Back in June, I lost two pairs of pants while cleaning out the closet in preparation for our “house viewing” by prospective buyers.

Today I couldn’t open the gym locker after my workout, even though I always use the same combination. I had to get the Facilities guy to unlock it for me. Luckily, it is one of those “modern” locks and can be opened with a master key. So I sat in the locker room waiting, my office attire held hostage.

I didn’t feel like going back to my desk in brown yoga pants and a blue T-shirt, so I had time for contemplation.

Contemplating my manic state, and how I could get locked out of something as benign as a gym locker.

Contemplating the absurd, the trivial, and what got me to this place. Yes, to this locker room, separated from my work uniform, my daily armor.

Isn’t that what we do every day when we leave the sanctity and security of our homes? Suit up for battle? Hope for the best and anticipate the worst. Weather the elements and brave the municipal transportation system. And at the end of the day, hope to make it home in one piece.

My existential musings for the day.

 

 

 

I Keep Losing Things

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(google)

I packed some jewelry–a necklace and two pairs of earrings–for a trip to Savannah in mid-August. Or at least I thought I did. I never wore them during the trip. I wore the same silver hoops and beaded bracelet for the duration of the trip. I never found the earrings and necklace when I got home and unpacked. Continuing searches in my bureau, suitcase and duffel bag have yielded no results.

When I visited my mom on her birthday (August 24), I noticed that her peridot-silver heart pendant and chain were lying on her night stand, and the chain was broken. I have replaced the silver chain at least three times–guess they aren’t made well. I stuffed the necklace and pendant in the front pocket of my purse and promised Mom I’d replace the chain. Both are missing. I’m not sure if they fell out of my purse, or if I took them out and put them somewhere else (don’t think so).

It’s only jewelry. Maybe it’s a sign that I am casting off the old and embracing the new? But why my mom’s necklace too?

My mind has been scattered what with the short sale of our house, our imminent move and family matters. It feels like things are running ahead of me and it’s hard to keep up.

As I said, it’s only jewelry. It could always be worse.

Send in the (Creepy) Clowns

it-sewer

(google, “It”)

Isn’t it weird?
how many are there
creepy clowns in South Carolina
causing a scare
(Don’t) send in the clowns . . .

Just when you thought the world couldn’t be more bizarre, what with  Donald Trump and his “Great Wall” of Mexico, and softening and hardening and softening (rinse and repeat) his stance on illegal immigration and his promise to deport “millions” of illegals within five minutes of being voted into office . . . here comes something new.

Creepy woodland clowns!

Yes, they appear to have taken up residence in Greenville County, South Carolina and are terrorizing children and adults.

This from The New York Times article “Creepy Clown Sightings in South Carolina Cause a Frenzy”:

A woman walking home late one night said she had seen a “large-figured” clown waving at her from under a streetlight, the police said. (She waved back.) And another woman said her son had heard clanging chains and a banging noise at his front door. In these cases, people who reported clown sightings refused to give their names to the police.

And I thought New York was weird!

Children have said that the clowns were offering them money to follow them into the woods; they apparently live in a house near a pond. The clowns seem to be targeting residents of a particular apartment complex. The police are receiving calls that the clowns have also been spotted at another apartment complex. What do they want?

People are armed and ready to defend themselves and their children against these ghoulish jesters.

As the Times article mentions, this may be a prank or publicity stunt of some kind, but that doesn’t seem to lessen the fears of the community.:

The pranksters, viral marketers and criminals may be taking advantage of a cultural fear of clowns, with examples including Mr. King’s “It,” and John Wayne Gacy, a serial killer who dressed as a clown. But Steven Schlozman, a child psychiatrist who teaches a course on the psychology of horror films at Harvard University, suggests that something more primal could be at work.

This brings to mind Ray Bradbury’s “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” which was also made into a Twilight Zone episode. In this story, strange things start happening in a sleepy suburban town in Main Street, USA. The appliances stop working, lights go out and people start to panic. A resident says it’s like a science fiction story he read where an alien space ship came to earth and created a disturbance. Ultimately, neighbors who were friends begin to distrust one another and wonder if Joe or Jill next door might actually be the “alien.” I won’t ruin the ending for you, but it’s well worth the read or view.

It’s the ultimate “fear of the other” story, like the fear of the evil woodland clown. Perhaps the clowns are malicious or harmful, or perhaps they are simply preying on our basest fears and sitting back to watch a once benevolent community self-destruct.

Bad Jesus

Paul false prophet

(google)

Bad Jesus
hang out in the parking lot
Bad Jesus
no scholar, but he is smart
Bad Jesus
tell you he loves you so
Bad Jesus
want money
and you’re his mark

Bad Jesus
make you feel
so special inside
Bad Jesus
mold your body, mangle your mind
Bad Jesus
take you away from your family
Bad Jesus
say only he can set you free

Bad Jesus
bring you enlightenment
Bad Jesus
say he’s a genius
Bad Jesus
smell you in the ocean
like a great white

Bad Jesus
If you see him,
run for your life

The Drunken Juggler

juggler

(google)

Late night bus rides are never dull. After 10:01 p.m., the buses arrive at different gates, in more distant, less-trafficked chambers of Port Authority Bus Terminal (“PABT”). More tourists, more drunk people, a generic strain of weirdos and lost souls (aren’t we all?).

I arrived at PABT at 10:40 p.m. last night after seeing an opera with my friend. The next bus was scheduled for 11:05 p.m. A jocular becspectacled woman with a thick mane of dirty blonde hair bounced toward the front of the gate. Some of us were leaning against the wall and a few others, lined up.

“Where do we line up?” she said, smiling widely. “Do we stand ‘in line’ or ‘on line’? Do we have any grammar Nazis here?”

I said, “I think it’s ‘on line.’ ”

“In school it was a really big deal. We stood on line, that’s what we did. Always a line.”

“Yes, we did,” I said.

She fished into her canvas tote bag, pulled out five soft black and white balls and started juggling.

A guy leaning against the wall next to me said, “Wow, I could never do that.”

The lady said, “Oh, we can teach you. Come to Bryant Park any Wednesday between 5 and 7. We’re always there. I find it makes people smile. It’s all about getting people to smile.”

If her smile was any wider, I thought it would tear the sides of her mouth until they bled.

She dropped a ball and returned all five balls to their tote bag.

“Oh, alcohol makes everything better!” she said.

The leaning guy and I smiled at her.

Definitely a New York moment.

It was one of those times where you enjoyed the moment, but felt a bit on edge, like you had to participate in this person’s exuberance no matter how tired you were. Not necessarily a bad thing, but there was a tinge of danger and volatility to her. I thought if we looked at her the wrong way or didn’t smile, she might fly off the handle.

We were a captive audience.

I was happy when the bus arrived and I could burrow into a seat towards the back of the bus and close my eyes. I had had enough excitement for one day.

 

 

 

Svengali

svengali 2

(google image – John Barrymore as “Svengali”)

You are the best at everything
You are God
but are too humble to admit it
most of the time

You have so much going on
we couldn’t possibly understand

You don’t want to bring us negative energy,
you say,
but you do anyway

You love us so much
We are “family”
but you don’t treat us that way

You come into our home
and take what you please
Of course you can,
you have the key

You never say “thank you”
or “please”

You hate liars

You are not who you say you are

You are Svengali

We were your slaves

We were suckers

but we know now

We will heal ourselves

and move on

Will you?

Things I Don’t Understand

1.   Family stencils / decals on the back of cars, or what my husband Lorin calls “the serial killer’s menu.”

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(google)

2.  People who ride Citi Bikes (New York thing) on the sidewalk. It’s both rude and dangerous. Oh, and don’t get me started on the ones who go through red lights and ride on the wrong side of the road.

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3.  People who race through Shoprite as if their carts are on fire. It’s kind of weird and also dangerous: you could hit a little kid or old lady that way!

shopping carts

(photo by me)

4.  Why cashiers at Duane Reade say, “the following guest” or simply “the following”? I never feel like I’m a guest at Duane Reade. Are we at a party or a pharmacy?

5.  Why we can’t pump our own gas in New Jersey. NJ folks text, apply makeup, give themselves bikini waxes, eat entire meals, read newspapers and talk on the phone in their cars, but we’re not allowed to pump our own gas. Some of us don’t mind a bit: bumper stickers and T-shirts abound proclaiming:

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6.  Why Governor Christie is still in office. The New York Times aired the latest dirty laundry: giving his pal Donald Trump a major break on taxes for the Taj Mahal Casino. No wonder the Garden State can’t afford decent lighting on the roadways and pothole repair.

7.  Why people don’t like Sphynx cats. Come on, look at this puss.

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8. Short people on the NJ Transit bus who lean their seats all the way back so the person behind them gets their legs crushed. Is it a Napoleon complex? By the way, it’s generally smaller women who do this.  Same goes for people on airplanes. It’s rude!

9.  People with “glass head syndrome.” Those are the co-workers who are friendly to you one day and the next look through you as if your head was made of glass and you don’t exist.

10.  Cookie dough ice cream. Both cookie dough and the ice cream of the same name make me sick to my stomach, and I love baking.

 

Biznatch

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I didn’t understand the point of the term “biznatch” for quite some time, but it all made sense after seeing this episode of Better Call Saul featuring the inimitable Tuco Salamanca as portrayed by actor Raymond Cruz. One of the most memorable TV characters ever.

The term “punking” was also etched (perhaps “blasted” would be more appropriate) into my memory by Tuco.

For the times we are disrespected, deceived or betrayed, wouldn’t it be great to channel Tuco for a day or even a few hours and scare the living crap out of the those who diss us to our very core? I can think of someone right now I’d like to “go Tuco” on. I recently discovered a certain person has been misleading and lying to me and my husband for years and has taken us for a quite a ride. I cannot go into any further detail here, but suffice it to say, it has been a rude awakening, albeit a necessary one.

Do you know anyone you’d like to go Tuco on?