Sunday, May 15, 2016

Random Thoughts From Recent Trips, Then Off to My 50th H.S. Reunion

Random thoughts for a May day without rain in the forecast:

Just returned last week from a three day trip to Washington, DC. During a visit to the Capitol, I watched the film about Congress in the visitor center. Imagine my surprise when Dennis Hastert showed up in the film in his role as Speaker of the House. You’d think that a disgraced politician would have been expunged from a film meant to impart the sanctity and importance of our legislative branch of government. Hmmm…..

By the way, the same film showed a cameo of Barak Obama as a senator from Illinois….

Coming back from a visit to our son and his family last weekend, the electronic sign on the Connecticut Turnpike read, “8 miles to next exit, 8 minutes,” which computes out to an average speed of 60 miles per hour. But the posted speed limit was 55 mph. Is the Nutmeg State suggesting drivers violate the law? Hmmm….

Last week I listened to an NPR segment on paid family care leave. The United States is one of but two countries without a paid family care leave program, according to the broadcast. Indeed, many mothers return to work within two weeks of giving birth because their jobs demand it or they need the money, it continued. One of the more interesting comments during the discussion was that in 28 states it was said to be illegal to take a puppy away from its mother before eight weeks. What’s that say about our government’s parenting priorities? Hmmm…..

Sometime around my late 20’s or early 30’s my brother Bernie observed that my front hairline was receding. As my father and my maternal grandfather sported shiny scalps, I was not too thrilled with his not-too-subtle tease for which there was no comparable retort as his head was and is to this day a repository of thick hair. 

As traumatized as I was by his observation, I was comforted by my wife’s assurance she would love me with or without hair. Yul Brynner, after all, was her major heartthrob, she said. 

Not to worry, my hairline has not receded these last 30 or 40 years. And, until recently, all of it has remained true to its original brown color. My beard, on the other hand, has plenty of grey and albino strands. A few months ago I noticed greying along my temples. And last week I spotted streaks of grey at the top of my head.

I bring this up because Sunday Gilda and I will attend my 50th high school graduation reunion. Not that I’m in any visual competition with my classmates, but I see no point in ceding any aging effects to any of them. (If you believed that last sentence, I have a bridge you might be interested in buying. Who’s kidding whom? Of course everyone, including moi, will be checking out how our classmates have, um, fared over the years—corporations above and behind the belt, jowls where fresh cheeks used to shine, bald pates where swept back locks once ruled. And why not? we’re 67 or 68, after all.)

I’ve gained some 50 pounds since high school. But on my six-foot frame I’m still gaunt. What of those whose body types were, shall we say, less forgiving than mine? What if they gained 20, 30, 40 pounds or more? I’ll find out in a few hours.

While on the subject of hair, did you see The New York Times article “In Praise of Naturally Curly Hair”?

It was written from a female perspective but I can tell you that having naturally curly hair generally is not an asset when you’re a man. It works well if you grow an Afro, as I did in the 1970’s. Before then I had a daily bout with unruly hair which I blame on my sister Lee. One of my earliest memories is Lee talking me into letting her do my hair. I must have been around three years old. I remember crying to our mother that Lee ruined my hair and made it curly. Forever. I’ve never forgiven her. 

Time for a new, albeit temporary, feature. During this electoral season, I’ll try to end blogs with a pithy quote about elections, culled from the Web site. Here’s your first witticism: 

The problem with political jokes is they get elected. —Henry Cate, VII

No doubt loyal readers know of whom I would target that quote. 

For those who can’t wait to see all of the quotes, here’s a link:

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