Carrot Juice

When I was young, my Mother told everyone I had a healthy appetite. That was her euphemism for: Geoffrey eats like a pig. To be clear, the pig comparison applied to both the quantity of food consumed and the table manners involved. Whether her friends understood the euphemism or not did not matter to me because young boys of my era were proud to belch, play hand pump armpit music, and inflict grossness by any possible means. Healthy food at the time included roast beef, potatoes with gravy, apple pie ala mode, and whole milk. Today a “healthy appetite” would apply to someone who nibbles kale and sips organic carrot juice. Last Wednesday I ran over three miles, recorded over 20,000 Fitbit steps, and worked in the garden. On Thursday morning, I did my daily weigh-in and was unpleasantly surprised to see I had gained a pound. This should not have been a shock because everyone knows I have a healthy appetite. I just did not realize you could gain weight if you pigged out to the point of gluttony on kale and carrot juice.


Cruise Ships

I woke up suddenly from a dream where Jane Fonda was flirting with me on a cruise ship. Usually I cannot remember my dreams unless I write them down but this one haunts me with questions. Why do the flirty women in my dreams keep aging along with me? Why am I on a cruise ship with old people and where are we going? Or is it a Mercy Hospital Ship? Am I in a deck chair or a hospital bed? Is Fonda actually a nurse making cheery patter while hooking me up to a ventilator? I could go to a dream interpretation website and learn more but I cannot envision good scenarios. I have been on one cruise ship in my life when I sailed to Alaska with my family. The experience was so wonderful, I checked cruises off my bucket list. I have no intention of going on another one with or without Jane Fonda. Those are my instructions to loved ones reading this.


Coronavirus cancelled Church services. One week I found a renegade Parish. Next I streamed Mass from my Parish. The priest and deacon sat elbow to elbow during the readings in solidarity against social distancing. Three altar servers were crammed together in their normal space despite rows of empty pews surrounding them. Why was the deacon not handling server duties? Lectors, choir members and a few unseen people received Communion when the Priest briefly went off camera. Were the favored attendees a camera operator, parents of altar servers, people who showed up unaware Mass was canceled, big donors, designated holy parishioners? Unfortunately the Bishop recently made a mysterious sudden change in pastors. He assured us no scandal was involved but provided no details. So, of course, everyone readily accepted the non explanation based on the Catholic Church’s reputation for transparency. The ousted pastor was a dynamic speaker while the newcomer thoughtfully handed out his homilies in advance because his accent is hard to understand. The text was not available for the streaming service which already provided sub par sound. I could be accused of not paying attention anyway based on the nitpicking in this post. I was antsy, deeming it sacrilegious to use the treadmill like I might while viewing required Continuing Legal Education courses. I was surprised how much I missed receiving Communion and figured Coronavirus opened eyes dulled by 65 years of a regular routine. My wife says it was my typical jealousy when others get something I cannot have. But I promise I will not be jealous if everyone gets COVID-19 except me.

My Next Trick…

The last time I went through airport security, the TSA agent singled me out for additional screening even though I was TSA Precheck. The agent asked if I needed a chair to take off my shoes. Of course I do. I am 72 years old. Who is sending terrorists that cannot even take off their shoes without a chair? I pondered accepting the chair and then trying to pry the shoes off by poking a chair leg at various points on the rim of the open oval where my foot is inserted. Instead, I took this as a true challenge and refused the chair. A true challenge means I had no idea what the outcome would be, I was wearing shoes with shoelaces, and I was attracting an audience. I certainly do not try this trick at home. I was disappointed that I was able to remove my shoes without incident because it would have made a much better Blog posting if I had fallen on my face. I was definitely on a roll and briefly thought about volunteering to touch my nose with my index finger while reciting the alphabet backwards. Or at least ask the age of the oldest person to perform this feat before me. But the agent was wearing sanitary rubber gloves and I have a rational fear of ones that are disposable.

Hate the Wait

Personal tragedies are easy to come by. But bigger disasters dwarf the individual when they affect populations on a grander national or global stage. Pearl Harbor and 911 were national disasters for the United States that struck suddenly and put the country out of balance. Picking up the pieces after the fact demanded large investments of emotion, time, energy, and sacrifice to fashion a new equilibrium. Tornadoes and earthquakes are natural disasters that hit without much warning. On the Beach was a fictional (so far) novel and movie where people in Australia wait for the inevitable extinction of the human race from radiation poisoning after a nuclear disaster. The Coronovirus is apparently not as deadly as the On the Beach radioactivity, so it does allow for some individual hope. But it has the same depressing advance warning of inevitable doom. Drip. Drip. Drip. The Zombies and Walking Dead are coming for us. I almost want to catch the virus and get it over with, so I can avoid the dreaded unknown. Do I survive or not? Do I get really sick or not? Will I be able to keep my daily Blog streak alive?

Sunburned Chili

Do not leave a blue and white tube of Banana Boat sunscreen on the kitchen counter. Especially if it looks exactly like a blue and white squeeze tube of Daisy Light Sour Cream. Do not try to shift blame to anyone who squeezed sunscreen on the chili. Do not get mad at anyone who threw out all the chili even though you were willing to scrape off as much sunscreen as possible. Just sit there by yourself and eat the crackers.

Silver Linings

The silver lining in the dark Corona cloud is the windfall of extra time I have gained while sheltering in place. I can clean out the garage although I have not started yet. I can get a big head start on Spring gardening. As soon as I can get around to it. I can finish my genealogy project that is sprawled all over my shelves and drawers. I must make a note to start on that tomorrow. Or on Sunday at the latest. Downsizing will be a breeze now that I have time to purge the storage room. I have binge watched the AMC series Better Call Saul and caught up on Survivor. Maybe I should take a quick peek at Very Cavallari before I finally finish my second novel. And I get to organize the photographs. I do not want the Coronavirus to seem like something good but it has opened the door to finally accomplishing all of the projects on hold. I feel sorry for all of the people wasting this wonderful opportunity even though procrastinators cause a surge in Blog readership.

Denser Than Yoda, I Am

I am a repeat offender when it comes to demonstrating that pride cometh before a fall. When I boast about my fitness, it goes something like this. At 4pm on a Saturday afternoon, I pick up my granddaughter from a playdate. Her friend’s father apologizes for how he is dressed because he has just finished a run. I boast that I did mine in the morning and find a way to indicate it was a ten miler with my sister-in-law who still races half marathons. Well, he happens to be training for the Western States 100 Mile Ultra Marathon. I belatedly realize his training run also started in the morning. Probably a 50 miler. He is too modest to specify. I am the type of guy dumbfounded when young interns end up outranking me in the company. When I think I am saying something brilliant, someone else interrupts with a Colum McCann quote: “When you divide death by life, you find a circle.” I pat myself on the back for being wise enough not to read McCann because I have no idea what that quote even means. Yoda is about as deep as I go. Learn, some people never do.

80% Humor Free

Mariah-Rose Marie has mocked gluten free water and cage free strawberries in The New Yorker. Even people eating Vegan vegetables and lead free honey must see the humor in those labels. I am skeptical about no-blood cheddar cheese. I am not interested in either blood or no blood cheese. The imagery is so bad that even if no such labels exist, I may never eat cheddar cheese again. Marie stretches the satire with a reference to cereal that is 100% free of human remains. That is a good thing but I have been naively assuming that all cereal is 100% free of human remains. I think human remains should only be mentioned if a food product is less than 100% free of such remains. If a cereal is 99.4% free of human remains, I am definitely interested because: (1) I am not eating any of it; (2) I am only buying enough to give as Christmas gifts to people on a certain hit list I maintain; and (3) I am engaged in a special project where such a product would be useful (details are secret to avoid ruining the surprise).

Lifesaving Tips

Five tips to dodge Coronavirus: (1) You can make homemade hand sanitizer with two parts rubbing alcohol, one part aloe vera gel, and a few drops of an essential oil like peppermint or lavender (for a pleasant aroma); (2) If you must go outside, do it only when the sun is out as UV rays could possibly impede the virus; (3) Avoid kissing Donald Trump’s ass (it spreads disease and eventually leads to self loathing); (4) According to Dr. Harry Moroz, the best way to determine if you have COVID-19 is to cough in a rich person’s face and wait for their test results; and (5) Do not drink your homemade hand sanitizer unless you have the underlying condition of malaria.