Warriors fans live across the street. Warriors fans live to the right of me; they live to the left of me; they live behind me. Everywhere seniors hi-fiving around the block. Tuesday morning early,early carpools full of fans will be heading out for the victory parade in Oakland.
Justify Takes the Triple Crown
Yesterday, my BIG QUESTION: “Will there be another Triple Crown winner today?
Can Justify hang on that extra quarter of a mile and get his nose first across the finish line at Belmont. I thought he struggled for his win at the Preakness. Watching that race, I was not sanguine that he could handle the mile-and-a-half distance of the third leg of the Triple Crown. After all, he would be up against fresh horses trained to peak at the Belmont.
Justify did win take the Triple Crown. And it was a grand run to watch. He took the lead at the start, and kept the lead all the way to the finish line. He did it easily, with plenty of energy left at the finish line.
Watching beautiful horses run lifts the spirits. Sadly, shadows darken the”sport of kings” in America. Doping is illegal, but are many practices that flirt with the dark side, and are harmful to the horses in the long run.
The Triple Crown itself is open to criticism because of the grueling stress placed upon young horses whose joints and bones are still cartilage. The official birthdate for all Thoroughbreds is January 1; but many foals don’t see daylight until March. Those late arrivals are several months shy of two years when they are officially eligible to race. They are not really mature. Given that ‘baby’ cartilage doesn’t finish maturing into bone until horses are five or six, it’s not surprising that race horses break and have to be destroyed.
I kick open the front door and drop my bags. Immediately I turn on music, filling the air with “A Thousand Years” by The Piano Guys. Opening wide my arms I twirl circles across the bare boards of a room filled with sunlight.
It’s been months since I visited the Front Door. Wouldn’t it be fun to say that I’d packed real bags and went visiting castles in Spain, and surf fishing on the beaches of Ibiza. Imagine posting Instagram photos of me outside Castle Coca, Castle Manzanares El Real, and Castle Alcazar of Segovia.
I have Spain on the brain because one of the things I actually did while vacationing from this blog is rereading that wonderful trio of novels by Lois McMaster Bujold, loosely known as the “Chalion novels.” They are fantasies set in a world based upon medieval Spain. All three books spin a yarn that speculates on the nature of the relationship between the human and the divine.
Not everyone’s cup of tea, of course, but I always close each book wondering how Bujold come up with the stuff she writes. I shelve her novels next to those eccentric little theological novels of Charles Williams, who as one of the Inklings, was a friend of C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Like olives and caviar, Williams is an acquired taste, but I reread his books annually.
In addition to re-reading theological fiction, I attended the April NaNoWriMo boot camp. This is an online workshop for writers. I am happy to announce that I have lost my fear of the first sentence. I remember how many times I started letters “Dear Friend, How are you? I am fine” and never wrote another sentence. Now I can knock out a paragraph or two with ease. AND, and, and, I am getting better at writing with an active voice.
A paper bag was left on the floor, and Romeo immediately climbed in then looked up at me. This was irresistibly cute, so I grabbed my camera and snapped this picture. Then I thought, “was is it that makes us call something cute?”
Merriam-Webster defines cute as attractive or pretty in a childish, youthful, or delicate way. What is that makes something seem childish, youthful, or delicate? I thought about this long and hard for about five minutes which the outer limits of my attention. Then I looked at some “cute” photos. My conclusion that the first important element required by cute is roundness of shape. The next important element is softness of line.
But here’s the next question “how is it that critters that are definitely not cute manage to do things that are cute? For this I have no answer.
For a year, I’ve passed by a place called “Cornerstone” idly wondering what it was. Last Saturday, I finally went on a fact finding expedition. Basically, it is a tourist destination: a restaurant, four wine tasting rooms, and two high end gift stores.
It’s the gardens that make Cornerstone a worthwhile place to spend an afternoon. There are twenty plots; each the size of a triple office cubicle. Every plot contains a garden designed by famous landscape architects from the United States, Europe, and Asia. Naturally, I didn’t have my pocket Nikon Coolpix with me. I had to make do with the camera on my cell phone.
Our neighbor across the way who lost the house he recently owned in the Fountain Grove area of Santa Ana, took several of us on a little tour of the fire damage. After three months, recovery is slow because of all the hazardous toxins that must be removed from the soil. Nature is doing her part to soften the damage by regrowth, nevertheless the damage remains stark.
The simple things of life can boost me over the moon. Others may win Super Lotto. But I now own five pair of the perfect socks. For a long time, I’ve had sock issues. The were too thick in the sole. They weren’t quite high enough. Recently they started slipping down the heel and bunching up under my foot. Walking half a block to get the mail was a misery. My world turned grey and lifeless. Then inspiration! Buy new socks. I took immediate action. I opened my browser to Amazon. There they were! Wool blend socks, of the perfect height, of the perfect thickness. Five pair in multiple colors. I pushed the buy button. As I write, my feet feel cozy in pair of salmon socks with turquoise toes, and ecru tops. Now I can walk a mile in my shoes without my socks sliding down my heels. Life is good.
If I had written this little ditty as a college student, nobody would have understood what I was talking about. The IBM Selectric was the last word in writing technology. If you used the word “Amazon” you were either talking about a very long river in South America, or mythological women warriors. Furthermore, I would have had to leave the house, walk to a store that sold socks and fork over real cash (college students of my generation rarely had credit cards).
The time they are a changing – day by day. Hope we don’t change ourselves into Atlantis and find ourselves at the bottom of the sea before the quarter century mark.
The Expanding World of Christmas Decorations
The last few days have been dedicated to taking down the Christmas decorations. On a microcosmic level, it is proof that we are living in an expanding universe. The decorations have expanded far beyond the storage in which they existed before Christmas. It required the purchase of three more 49 gallon storage tubs to pack them all, and there are still odds and ends that need fitting in somewhere.