Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee this week we’d be outside in the sunshine. The weather’s getting better hear and that gives me hope. We had some downpours, but that mainly made the grass and shrubbery greener.

I’d ask how week 10 of this lockdown was. In some ways it’s not so hard, but to cut out face to face socializing has been tough. It’s taking its toll on many, particularly parents with young kids who need to be homeschooled.

I’d mention that my nephew graduated from high school out in Connecticut and my parents and I “attended” or rather watched a Baccalaureate Mass on Friday and his graduation on Saturday morning. Both events were virtual and the school tried to check all the ceremonial boxes, but virtual just doesn’t hold up for me. I feel badly for these kids who aren’t getting the usual transition out of high school.

Work is bumping along and I’ve got to accept that the environment is full of people who like power and secrets. People who’re poor communicators and quite disorganized.

We’re still here on lockdown with no easing up yet. Our state has not been adding up the testing data correctly, which is troubling as thee numbers are used to determine when the state opens up.

I’ve started rereading Proust’s Swann’s Way with a friend in Washington state. We choose classic novels and discuss them via email. Swann’s Way is so packed with allusions and precise language that I’m constantly looking things up. It’ll be a slow, but delectable read.

My nephew dropped by to introduce us to his new puppy, Blue. Blue’s a mild-mannered Australian shepherd with one light blue eye and one brown eye. I’ll have to get a photo up.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 9 of the Lockdown. April dragged along and May seems the same. I wrote that last week but it seems we’re just going round and round. People are losing patience.

I can’t believe last week was Mother’s Day. That seems ages ago.

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I’d been engrossed in Paul Johnson’s Heroes, which I got via Hoopla, one of my library’s ebook services. One thing I don’t like about these services is there’s no way to renew. You’ve got three weeks and poof! they take back the book. So it’s a longish book and I’m busy so I needed to pick up the pace. Well, Wednesday, though the book’s still checked out to me, when I open it, all I get is a white page, which can’t be flipped. I try repeatedly, then i clear my cache, turn off the device and try again. Same problem. Then I uninstall and reinstall Hoopla. No change. I email Hoopla for help and I still haven’t heard anything. I’ve tried repeatedly to fix this, but all I see is white. I’m not big on ebooks to begin with so I’m even less impressed. I’ll have to buy this book.

(I did check Libby/Overdrive and they don’t have Heroes.)

Last night ESPN showed the final two episodes of The Last Dance about Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls. All I can say is “Wow.” Watching the final episodes of this four star documentary was practically a religious experience. So much drama and heart.

Illinois is still locked up tight. The mayor has the lakefront all locked up. It’s a wonderful place to go for a walk, run or bike ride and getting some fresh air, sun and exercise are terrific for general health. I sent the Chicago Tribune a letter to the editor in March suggesting that the City open up this public space and hire life guards to insure adequate behavior like physical distancing. It wasn’t published.

A couple Chicago churches dared to hold services while practicing physical distancing and the mayor threw up last minute Tow-Zone signs in the vicinity of these churches. Then she had all the cars towed. So residents including the elderly and healthcare workers got their cars towed. It could be that churchgoers came by public transit. So this overreach has punished the innocent. What recourse do they have? It’s costly to sue the city to recoup the expense of getting one’s car back. There are more positive ways to modify behavior.

Our governor is very strict on lockdown, yet his family is staying in their equestrian estate in Wisconsin, a state that opened up on Friday, after 7 weeks in Florida in that mansion. It’s horrible that he doesn’t have his family stay in Illinois in one of their residences.

The week at work was quite stressful. More on that later. Suffice it to say our managers are very anxious and they haven’t explained why they’re doing what they’re doing.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 8 of the Lockdown. April dragged along and May seems the same.

For Mother’s Day we celebrated with a nice at home breakfast and then both of my brothers stopped by at separate times with their families. It was nice to see people.

Later we had a nice dinner and watched — you guessed it — The Last Dance. This week really added to MJ’s reputation as an intensely competitive guy. I was rather surprised that he hit Steve Kerr in the eye during a practice. Kerr was new to the team and MJ was testing him, guarding him with all his fury. When Kerr felt he had too much, he hit MJ in the chest and MJ responded by hitting him in the eye. In time Jordan realized how wrong that was and apologized and they made amends. The night also spent time on the tragic murder of Michael’s father and Scottie Pippen’s rivalry with Tony Kukoč. Boy, was Kukoč treated to a tough welcome. Nonetheless, the show does highlight respect and team spirit as well as excellent athleticism.

Now for work we can only recruit via Social Media. It’s a major restriction as we can’t email community groups to recruit. We had been trying to get churches, civic organizations and employers, who’ve had to let people go, to spread the word about our jobs. That’s forbidden now. Go figure.

I’ve watched a lot of house remodeling shows — Home Town, Property Brothers and Flipping 101. They’re all based on a formula and many series create Today I saw a show called Texas Flip and Move and was surprised that people will buy a house at auction and then pay to get it moved to where they want to live. It’s a guilty pleasure that I usually indulge in while eating lunch. Pretty soon, I should be able to lay tile or inspect for termites. 😉

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I’m thoroughly enjoying Paul Johnson’s collection of biographies called Heroes. So far I’ve learned about Samson, Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc, Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I, George Washington and Lord Nelson. Johnson’s writing style is precise and he weaves in his opinions and context. For example, I didn’t realize that George Washington was six years older than George III and that they both loved farming. Washington kept all his papers. All and so there’s more documentation of his life than of most Presidents.

I suppose the highlight of last week was venturing out to a different neighborhood for a daily walk. Our town’s engaging in a campaign to encourage people to put teddy bears in their windows or around their front doors for passerby’s to spot. The idea is based on the story Going on a Bear Hunt.

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Our Bear

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 700 of the WuFlu Lockdown. Oops, I think it’s just week 7. It’s hard to tell. Of course, we’d be having coffee and talking over the phone or on Zoom.

On Saturday I attended a Zoom Kentucky Derby Party. My aunt and uncle held this annual party for as long as I can remember. When my uncle passed away, my cousin filled his shows on co-hosting. Guests were invited to wear hats. and some were quite dramatic. We could bet, but there wasn’t a real race just a virtual one featuring top race horses across the decades. Still I did win $19!

The hats were a hit and the addition of a race and wagers did add to the fun. The Derby has been postponed till September so there may be a real race too.

I’m loving the Constitution 101 online course. Today I learned about how European thought influenced Woodrow Wilson, John Dewey and others’ shift in interpreting the Constitution differently. Wilson thought we should ignore the preface to the Declaration of Independence.

Last Monday I watched a Zoom meeting of a local civics organization that held a virtual town hall with an ER doctor who works on the Southside and a man who runs a local news site who offered plenty of data on the sad shape of Illinois finances. Both were good speakers with insights on the CCP Virus’ local impact. The doctor works in an area with a high rate for CCP Virus cases, but says they’re trending down and the hospitals have things under control. She takes extra care with sanitation, but they’re in a good place now. She opined that we can start opening up in stages and that civil disobedience is likely to speed that up. I wish our governor would listen to them.

I’m behind in my 2020 reading challenge so I picked out a quick read, Cash Boy by Horatio Alger. I’ll get a review up soon.

Our weekend weather was perfect – sunny around 75° so I got some good walks in. I can’t wait till the Botanic Garden reopens.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some timely  catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you how you did during week 6 of the WuFlu Lockdown. Of course, we’d be having coffee and talking over the phone or on Zoom.

Last Monday I had two conference calls and a Zoom board meeting to attend. Then on Tuesday I had another two conference calls and could have joined a Zoom event through my church. They’re doing the wonderful Alpha program and now it was transferred on to Zoom. While it’s lovely that Zoom enables people to connect during a lockdown, I was just tired of this format. I watched the Alpha program on my own, but couldn’t bring myself to watch another Zoom event.

My team at work has coalesced and unified, which is great because there’s little support as we’re remote and our office is 95% closed.

I’m missing the library. I’ve finished most of the books and DVDs I’ve checked out. Yes, we have access to ebooks, but my password doesn’t work with Hoopla and Libby’s offerings don’t compare. Also, I still prefer real books.

I enjoy both Dave Rubin and Ben Shapiro and here’s a video I’ve started watching with both of them talking about Free Speech. I also recommend Eric Metaxas’ interview of Candace Owens.

I finished reading The Starlet and the Spy, set in Korea just after the Korean War. In a nutshell, it was okay, but I’ve read better. More on that tomorrow.

Last night was another terrific pair of episodes of The Last Dance, the documentary about the Chicago Bulls 1997-98 season. I learned a lot about Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I finished reading Kafka’s The Trial, which I liked, but I need to reread it or do some research so I understand it fully.

I completed my training to be an election judge for our primary election on March 17th. We’ve got new sleeker equipment, which should be easier to work with and quicker to set up and take down. Fingers crossed.

I am rather disappointed so many candidates dropped out just before Super Tuesday. It doesn’t give states that come later much voice in the matter. How can a state change when it holds its primary, I wonder.

Saturday I attended a Lenten Retreat organized for alumnae of my high school. My all girls’ school closed in the 1990s, but we still have alumni events. It was a small group of just 35 or so and no one else from my year was there. Still the program was a good start to Lent (though Lent started 10 days before. My former freshman homeroom teacher was one of the co-leaders and I did sit with two sisters of one of my classmates.

I’ve continued to work a lot and I am enjoying recruiting. This week I attended a nearby Toastmasters and not only did I get some people to apply, but I got to see a very active group, again of all ages and a mix of first languages.

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m enjoying watching the classic film Giant with Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean. I’m about half way through this saga.

I went to Massachusetts for small claims court and I’ll describe that experience some other time. In a nutshell, mediation failed and I’ve asked for a continuance. I did get to meet with Jane, a friend I taught with in 2009-2010. I’d seen her a couple times since then, but I think it’s been about 8 years since the last time we met up.

One of the things I wanted to do for Lent is to use my writing talent by writing for 20 minutes a day. That hasn’t worked at all. I put a lot of my time into work and it’s hard to avoid that and will be for the next couple of weeks. I’ve also given up wine and chocolate. The thinking behind this isn’t just to make life hard for no reason. I’m influenced by a friend who believes it’s good to examine what little crutches she’s turned to when things get tough and to eliminate them and turn to God as one should. Some of my wine and chocolate consumption is just out of enjoyment, but Lent is also a way to experience deprivation. I’m also doing a 40-day Bible study for Lent and I like how it challenges one to do a different act of kindness each day.

Last Monday I attended a Kiwanis meeting to recruit for the Census. The people were lovely and I got to hear a nurse speak about a book she’s written called Getting the Best Care: Rescuing your loved one’s from the healthcare conveyor belt. It’s got a lot of insight into how the healthcare industry effects the elderly and how a trip to the hospital can be the last thing they need because they’re likely to come out more confused and less healthy. She writes for the average reader and her style is clear and concise. The author Margaret Kilpatrick offers information on how to stay in control of what can be a confusing journey, which makes people acquiesce to the people in the white coats.

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Circles, Curves

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Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to share photos of rectangles. What photos will you share?

 

Click here to see more circular or curving photos.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Rectangles

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Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to share photos of rectangles. What photos will you share?

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Ignore the cakes on the left, the rest are rectangular

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London

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Writers’ Museum

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Edward Hopper, Art Institute of Chicago

Click here to see more rectangle photos.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If I were having coffee with you this weekend, I would tell you that I had a great weekend working. Well, sort of great. I did hear this horrible information about how cold heartedly my coworker whose mother died has been treated. Yet, because I worked with good teammates the time flew by and everyone pulled together that made things fun.

I had a good birthday with dinner at my aunt and uncle’s new condo that overlooks a small lake. They moved from the home they’ve lived in probably since the 70s, but the stairs were too much for my aunt. We had a great night with lots of laughs.

I started reading a mystery called The Beautiful Blue Death. Set in Victorian London, it reminds me a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories.

I started a gofundme campaign to help defray the costs of my doctor’s visit given that my employer’s error got me kicked off my insurance.

Next Monday is my last day at this library. I’d go back if there was a new Director. This woman is pernicious and inefficient. It’s hard to believe she was ever hired or that she’s kept her job.

I began watching Buster Keaton in Saphead, a sweet comedy with less slapstick than I expected.