Sunday, June 16, 2013

3743 You could play professionally!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

I don't care who does the electing as long as I get to do the nominating.
--Boss Tweed--


One day in the late'70s, when I was living near Washington, DC, I went to a Mensa Regional Gathering in DC.  After the usual Saturday evening banquet, I stayed in the banquet hall after most people had left, talking to a few other laggards.  A guy about my age went up on the stage where there was a piano, and started playing.

He was absolutely fantastic!  He was playing classic compositions, but he was adding to it, takeoffs that the composer never wrote.  I was amazed.  I didn't know that a simple piano could make such sounds. The other people didn't seem to notice and gradually drifted out, until it was just the two of us left in the room.

I stood below the stage apron, unnoticed, as he played.  When he finally stopped, I told him that I thought he was wonderful.  I asked if he played professionally, and he said no.  I (and I can't believe now that I actually said it) told him that he should.  He laughed and said that it's hard work, the business end is stressful, and "besides, there's no money in it."  We introduced ourselves, and he became one of my favorite people in Washington Mensa.  He was simple, gentle, and sweet, but in conversation quietly came out with some stunning insights.

Even though I knew his name, an unusual name difficult to forget, even for name-disabled me, it wasn't until much later that I found out who he was.

I just a few minutes ago found out that Tandyn Almer died last January.  He was an amazing person (an obituary).  Even though I haven't seen him in thirty years, I will mourn the fact that he isn't still out there, quietly being him.

3742 Where has cute gone?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Poor spelling does not prove poor knowledge,
but is fatal to the argument by intimidation.
--Gene Ward Smith--


I get feeds from the cute animal sites.  Feel good. For the past few months, it seems like every other post is either a pug or a sloth.  Enough already!  Why?  What's going on?  Have the boundaries of  "cute" been redefined?

Pugs always look woefully confused.  Poor little things.  (Now, you don't have to defend pugs.  I'm not saying they ARE confused, I'm saying they LOOK confused, and I don't find "confused" to be "cute".)  Anyway, I don't get the "cute" tickle I'm looking for from them.  Besides, their eyes stress me out.  I keep expecting them to pop out. 

I worry that the overload of sloths will result in all those immature idiots with more money than sense who always go into "I WANT ONE!" mode deciding they're the perfect pet.  The folks who do no research, don't understand that standard pets have generations of domestication in their backgrounds, and expect the exotic animals to fit their definition of pet.  Sloths are getting too overexposed for their own good.  Same thing happened to Fennec foxes and a host of small big-eyed jungle beasties.

I want kittens and puppies back (the bunnies can take a vacation, though), and not grumpy ones, either.


3741 Potato

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Whenever anyone says "theoretically", they really mean "not really". 
--Dave Parnas--


I normally would be very annoyed by the current fad for using "z" instead of "s" on the end of plural words, like "kidz".  I figure that at least it discourages those people from adding the superfluous apostrophe, like "kid's" as the plural form.

I am, however, very annoyed by PC people who insist that ALL rape is about power and coercion, that NO rape is about sex, ever.  Bullpoopy.  I want to slap them.  Some is absolutely about sex, about wanting something so badly that the perpetrator actually hears no objection, interprets all resistance as a game that he is expected to play to reach the goal.  Like the sex-want takes over his mind and everything is interpreted in a way to get him there.


 I was peeling a squash last night, using a potato peeler.  I was thinking about how easy it was, compared to using a knife.  Then I had one of those flashbacks.

Daughter says I hold onto stuff from my past, that I should just let it all go.  (This from the 37-year-old who tells me all the stuff I did wrong when she was a kid.)  It isn't that easy to let stuff go, because I never got what the shrinks call "closure".  These are things that formed me, made me what and who I am, and with most of it I never found out why, whether it was something about me, or the other person, or what, that caused it.  I never got apologies.  Apologies and/or explanations are very important.

There was something wrong with my father.  He liked to beat Mom and us kids.  We're talking beating to unconsciousness, and when I say "liked", I mean exactly that.  It wasn't loss of control in anger.  It was fun.  He looked for opportunities, and if none presented when he was in that mood, he created one.  Traps.

I was the dinner potato peeler in my teens.   I had to use a knife, and the peels had to be super thin, so no potato was wasted.  It was difficult and time consuming, using a steak, not paring, knife.  When I was done, he had to inspect the peels, and if there was too much white on them, I was punished.  The peels were little tiny nibbles.

One day I was at a neighbor's house, and the mother there was using this marvelous implement:

That evening, I told my father about this marvelous invention, that would make very thin peelings every time and save lots of time.  Zip zip and it's done!

He was furious and beat me for displaying my stupidity and laziness.  I would continue to use a knife, because that's the way it was supposed to be done.

Yes, I am still angry at his unfairness.  Yes, it still bothers me.  Yes, still, occasionally, I am overwhelmed by anger, anger that I am not allowed to express to anyone, and therefore can't release.

I guess that's what blogs are good for.  Maybe it's released now, a little bit?