Annual Report

It’s end-of-year assessment time everywhere. It’s time here at WordPress. The stat monkeys have declared it, and who am I to argue with stat monkeys?

https://artcoloredglasses.com/2015/annual-report/

It’s always intriguing to see a condensed version of the last year’s activities. Clearly I always know far less than I would hope, assume, or think about what’s gone on in the universe in whose midst I exist. Such is the human condition, n’est-ce pas? We humanoids are perpetually, perniciously unable to  see the larger picture 99% of the time. It’s weird, yet refreshing, to be shown the greater reality in which I dwell, even if it’s merely to chart the activities of something as non-essential as my blog.

Knowing this stuff, however trivial, changes nothing. The past is the past, and the present disappears at top speed into its well, too. But what of the future? I suspect—and I very much hope—that having a little mosey through what I may have missed in the broader, richer pageant of life, even in a tiny corner of it, might jog me into paying a bit more attention and squeezing yet more of the goodness out of it, going forward.

Perhaps next year’s stats will tell whether those efforts have been successful or not. See ya on the other side!

Photo: Celebratory Dinner

How about a little celebratory dinner, for now?

Circumnavigations

13.30 hours: Driver arrives to take us to Dallas-Ft. Worth International airport.

16.15: Departure time. Flight to Chicago (along with hundreds of other flights) is delayed by high winds. Pilot opts for optimism and starts boarding.

16.35: It becomes clear that even an optimist can’t get us to O’Hare in time for our connection to the Stockholm flight. Spouse makes inquiries at boarding desk.

16.45: It becomes clear that no flights from Chicago to Stockholm will have room for us within the next 24 hours, if not longer. Spouse convinces airline employees to take his checked luggage back out of the airplane cargo hold.

16.55: Baggage in hand, we work our way back to the ticketing gate and confirm our new and different tickets, on a different day, with a different airline, through a different intermediate country.

17.05: Enjoying an expensive cab ride home for the night, we send messages to the friend who was planning to pick us up at the airport in Stockholm, and to the shuttle driver who had picked us up in the afternoon. Time to initiate Plan B.

13.30, Day 2: Driver arrives to take us to DFW airport.

[Insert Twilight Zone theme music here.]

Photo: Expect the Unexpected

Travel experts always say to Expect the Unexpected. And this helps me cope *How*??? Guess I’m just supposed to be glad bighorn sheep haven’t learned how to fly yet.

Doesn’t WordPress Love Me Anymore?

My Foodie Tuesday post from the other day is AWOL. WordPress admits to being “embarrassed”—but offers no signs of the missing post. Which I know I published, because I got comments on it…though they seem to have been relocated to another post altogether since their ‘mother ship’ flew the coop. Heaven knows I’ve no clue how the entire post went any more than where it went, so I can re-post the opening salvo here as copied and pasted from where it still resides on Facebook. What a wonderfully weird world is this land o’internets. I’ve archived the photos on my own computer, so I’ll share those with you, too. The rest is up to you who already read the real post to recollect as best you can, or to those who missed it, to guess and invent based on your salivary reactions to the pictures here gathered.

Back to the future, I guess. Here’s how it started:

There’s no question that better behavior needs to be in my near dietary future. But I’m not going to flog myself over having a delicious holiday! Life goes in cycles. I’ve been eating more sensibly and exercising more this Fall than I had in a long time, and it’s felt better in ever so many ways. Having an entire month crammed with invitations from friends and colleagues to dine and lunch together, while dangerous to the waistline and willpower, is also simply an opportunity to spend great time in deeply appreciated conversation and camaraderie over good food and drink. [ 224 more words. Your guess is as good as mine what they were!]

Photo: Seared Salmon Benediction at the Station

The parts of the whole: seared salmon receives a Benedict-style benediction at the Station…

Photo: MMMMMarvelous Mash

MMMMMarvelous mash, full of buttery cheese!

Photo: Benison & Blessing

…and when eaten, it is pure benison and blessing!

We Come in Pieces

You have probably noticed, as I have, that western fiction containing aliens often plays with the old “We come in peace” subterfuge. False because, of course, we all know from the beginning that the invaders will be horrible, nasty, creatures bent on enslaving (and/or eating, interior decorating with, organ harvesting from, farming for pelts, eradicating, experimenting upon) the human species. Aliens bad; earthlings good. It’s simple and obvious.

Except for that little part where we also all know from the beginning that humans are flawed, damaged, and often horrible and nasty, even to each other. There’s a little earworm that plays a constant repeating loop of the first line of that song I Fall to Pieceswith a cheerily cruel ironic tone when I think about how people tend to interact with each other, especially when we become obsessed with our differences and forget we’re related.

I’m more than a little suspicious that if aliens ever do show up openly on our planetary doorstep, we’ll be far too busy tripping over ourselves and each other, and mucking up our own existence, to be bothered with figuring out whether the extraterrestrials are in fact here to harm or help us. Might as well be the latter, or they’re better off sitting back on their alien haunches with snacks and watching from the comfort of their spaceship windows while we bicker like fools and self-destruct without any help from them. I, of course, will be hiding in a closet with my wallet and most prized electronics clutched to my chest to protect them through the invasion for use in my privileged position after the overthrow of the world rightfully makes me the aliens’ designated deity.Digital illo: We Come in Pieces

Everything Old is Still Old Even When It’s New Again

Tonight I saw a humorous ‘fashion show’ of the choir dresses from a long part of the Swedish Radio Choir’s 90-year history. I’d share photos of them, but you’re undoubtedly going to get better views of them if you look in the choir’s archives. Having a good laugh over them in person, despite the uneven lighting and mosh-pit activity at the reception, was tremendous fun. Reflecting on what I myself wore in the eras when these sorts of dresses were fashionable is either hilarious or horrifying, depending upon my mood and whether you ask me or someone who had to look at me in said clothing.

It’s a good reminder that what is merely Old Stuff has a world of possible interpretations when revisited, either because it becomes popular once again after a time of absence or it is unearthed as it was in this little bit of choir jollity. Is it vintage, or passé? Sexy or silly? Trendy or timeless? So much depends upon the moment and the company. Point of view determines value, more often than not.

After seeing those dresses of yesteryear, I was reminded that what I’m currently sorting for our household downsizing will inevitably raise the same question, whether I am the one later coming across objects I opted to keep or somebody else is discovering my discards. I have no excuses. I’ve seen what happens many, many times. But we never tire of the New, do we? Good thing we like combing through the Old, too. Hope most of the people I hang around with will find me closer to vintage than just junk as I keep aging.Photomontage: Old Stuff

Social Insecurity

Photomontage: Titled & EntitledThe US has had a Social Security Administration for eight whole decades now, a government agency aimed at assisting the aged, the disabled, and those with limited income capabilities. Highly admirable stuff, that, however imperfectly executed. The fact that many of my generation and younger have had reason to question whether the monies we ourselves have set aside and invested (through this very agency, in hopes of securing our own places if and when we reach the point of need in any of those categories) will still be there waiting for us gives the lie to the amiably well-intentioned name of said organization. But if there were to be an agency with the opposite name, I have a feeling it would be devoted to something a bit different, or at least much broader, than the opposite of supporting the aged, the disabled, and those with limited income capabilities.

If you ask me, insecurity—especially of the social variety—is pretty darned near universal. It strikes at the hearts of the poor and the rich equally, at those with profound physiological barriers to their earning potential and those who make their mind-bogglingly large incomes by being spectacularly physically gifted (here’s looking at you, pro athletes!), at those with limited income capabilities, say, because they are [ahem! Starving] artists and those whose income potential seems utterly unlimited (you know, artists of the bankable-actor type or the rockstar variety and their cohorts). I know from long observation that the seemingly most potent and gifted, powerful and well-established, famous and accomplished, are also among the least socially secure people on the planet. It has a little to do, I’m sure, with the idea that the more one has, the more one has to lose. But it’s really not so logic-based as all that. It’s an inborn, often reinforced, sense that what one does have not only can vanish in the blink of an eye but is highly likely to do so. A belief that if anybody else on earth has any such gifts and privileges and earned honors, then the ones that one has, oneself, are diminished by an equal amount, or just plain eclipsed. The zero-sum game in a terribly emotional, wildly self-destructive form. How pitiful.

What I would like might be to create the Social Insecurity Administration, and let everybody who feels a need to join, or is nominated for the dubious honor by others who know what fears lie in their secret hearts,

Point of Origin

Photomontage: Kid StuffSapient Sources

What Mother said carried no weight—

Dad said the same? Then it was great!

What Dad pronounced we’d all reject—

Then Mother said it? Yay! Correct!

It’s funny, no? But true, of course—

Belief depends more on the source

Than on the facts and evidence—

If only trust were based on sense

In my own heart and in my head

I’d just accept what Mother said—

Except, of course, when in the frame

Of asking if Dad said the same—