Saturday, May 10, 2014


A most Happy Mother’s Day to you all, to all you mothers.  I know the origin of Mother’s Day, do you?  The internet is wonderful – if you googled a Wikipedia entry for “Mothers Day” you’d be there quick as a link.  If you want the origin, this is where you’ll end up:  
This is perhaps the most primary reason I love the internet.  Someone talks about anything you can think of.  Or they think about anything you can talk about.  It’s an invisible ocean.  Any question can be answered or echoed – okay, not any but almost any.  I wonder how to fix something, look it up, and someone will have just figured out how to fix one.  

But I’ll tell you – one of the simplest requests I’ve asked has always been denied.  I have never found One of these things.  No one has one to sell.  Yet we all know this object – we have all heard the story. It’s a familiar thing, one we can picture in our minds.  Every person I’ve asked has answered in the affirmative (though some needed to focus a little first).  Do you know what an Aladdin’s lamp is?  What it looks like, or what you think it looks like? 
Here we go:
You get the idea; they were brass whale-oil lamps.  In a certain shape.  I wanted to buy one – hopefully an old one – but they all turned out to be miniatures, incense holders or whatever – none were the foot-long, simple, soldered household items of long ago, which I loved and wanted to get.  I liked the way their magic was hidden beneath a humble appearance. 
That was over a decade ago.  Everyone knows what they are, but you can’t find one on the internet.  Prove me wrong - fine.  I’m just saying.  If you do find one, I’ll bet they haven’t been available long.  I’ve searched many times.  I mean, I don’t spend every day searching for that – I search for an average of twenty other things.  Roughly.  The news, the weather, my mail, and I have Facebook friends.  I also have real friends.  Some are both.  They say real friends will help you move.  One of my Facebook friends actually helped me move this last year.  (Thank you, Kevin.)  Other friends helped too.  Let me buy you all a drink!  You know who you are…

I just got a call from a young man with a heavy Indian accent, telling me he was calling about my Windows computer.  He said mine was very badly infected, and that he would help me.  I had heard about this scam, so I finally answered a few questions.  Are you in front of the computer?  Yes.  Is the computer on?  Don’t you know?  Silence.  Off-script.  Then he said my computer was badly infected, that he was a support person from Microsoft and I should follow his instructions.  I said, you’re going to tell me what to do on my computer?  He said yes.  I said, I’m sorry, I have to get back to something, but you have a nice day and thanks.  He sputtered and dug into his bag of tricks as I hung up.  Poor guy.  Needs a new job.

Today I walked in the sun on Church Street, walked through the farmers market on their first outside day since last Fall, did my laundry, cleaned things up, cleared things up, took a walk by the Lakefront and casually interacted with strangers briefly, stared into the glare of the sun on the lake.  No trees have leaves yet, so on a clear day like this, the sky is extra bright and unhindered.  And it was 75 degrees.  By dawn it is to descend to 50.  I enjoy the lake breeze, when it blows.  (What else is it going to do?)

AND now for my previous blog-piece, being published now.  We are going back in time!  Which reminds me of the wonderful last line of The Great Gatsby.  You book people, especially those with a sense of humor, please read William Kotzwinkle’s The Midnight Examiner, or Queen of Swords, or The Fan Man.  Three fine and funny, wise novels.  Great literature is to be shared, like great food.  Which reminds me – check the supper!
It’s okay.

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