Saturday, March 28, 2015

“We are not a glum lot…”

One of the things that often amazes a newcomer to the halls of Alcoholics Anonymous is the amount of laughter that is present. It is definitely true...we are not a glum lot.

We know we are fighting a deadly disease...one that will kill us if we are not diligent. However, laughter is our saving grace. It allows us to laugh at ourselves, to face our fears and our misdeeds and to put our lives and our past into perspective. A type of “gallows humor” I guess. Anyway, I thought that you might enjoy some of the funny quips and jokes that abound in AA.

Here’s a sampling:

* I would rather go through life sober, believing I am an alcoholic, than go through life drunk…trying to convince myself that I am not.

* The bluebird of happiness is not another swallow.”

* Overheard at a funeral service: “Poor boy, he tried everything to stop drinking but he never could.” “Did he try AA?” “Oh, my, no…he never got that bad.”

* The 12 Steps are like 12 wrenches…they will fit any nut who walks through the door.

* If you’re wrapped up in self you make a very small package.

* The discussion topic was “half measures avail us nothing” and one member was listing all the reservations he had about the AA program and sobriety. An old-timer piped up and said, “with that many reservations you are bound to take flight. soon”

* A warning to newcomers in AA: “If you’re looking for a relationship in AA odds are good you’ll find one. But beware…it often follows that the goods will be odd.”

* An alcoholic is an individual who takes the most simple program and works on it until he has eventually reduced it to its most complicated form.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Neologism …


…is defined as a new word or a new use for an old word.

Yearly the Washington Post has a neologism contest in which readers submit their alternatives for common words. These are a few of this year’s winning submissions:

* Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

* Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

* Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

* Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a

  steamroller.

* Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

* Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

* Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

* Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you

  die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.


Readers were also asked to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Winners are:


* Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject

  financially impotent for an indefinite period.

* Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

* Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who

  doesn't get it.

* Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

* Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

* Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

And the pick of the literature:

* . Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.










Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We bloggers are a diversified lot !

 

Here”s my blogger friend Jan (or Possum, as she’s known on her blog
http://possumlane.blogspot.com/) yakking it up with Ralph Northam of Virginia. A cute picture you might say but it’s a lot more that.

Ralph was one of her 3rd grade students and she could see that he was exceptional even back then. She’s watched his progress ever since …through his days at VMI to his service in the Gulf War, his occupation as a pediatric neurologist and then his election to Lt. Governor of Virginia. This picture was actually taken 4 years ago but Jan would have the same big grin today since she’s just found out that her little student Ralph will be entering the race for Governor of Virginia in 2017.

From what I’ve read about him it will be an uphill battle because he is by nature a mild mannered and quiet man and not as well known as some of his competitors. However, he really wants to run and be of service to his home state of Virginia so I’m sure that will change soon.

When I told Jan that I’d read about him her answer was: “One thing the articles don't tell is the amount of pro-bono work Ralph does. So many of his patients are poor and follow up care is difficult if you are living on one of our islands. Tangier, for example, does not even have a Dr. so Ralph gets on his boat and goes to the island, takes care of the kid. If he gets paid, it might be a crab cake dinner! …He has always done things like that... did pro bono work long before he even considered running for the Senate.”

Will Dr. Ralph Northam (D) become Governor of Virginia in 2017? Only time will tell but you can be sure that Jan will be out there praising his every move. As she said “he was precious when I had him in my 3rd grade class and he’s precious now …one of the GOOD guys, so rare in politics !”



Friday, March 13, 2015

OOPS … or, How to feel like a senile Senior !


Well, it’s like this: I just got my vehicle registration renewal form and I was happy to see the words

                                                  “NO Inspection Required

written in red under the due date. I thought that was a little odd but then I figured that maybe North Carolina was instituting a new 2 year inspection thing and I was happy to save that part of the cost at least.

I decided to pay the fee on line (as I had done last year) but it kept kicking me out and finally, in frustration, I headed to the local DMV office. I hate to go there since it is always packed with people and it takes forever to get to the front of the line. This day was no different and it took me almost an hour to finally get to see a clerk.

I handed the paper to her while explaining that I had no idea why I hadn’t been able to pay the fee on line. She answered that she could no nothing for me until I had the vehicle inspected. Well, you can imagine how I jumped on that …pointing her to the NO Inspection Required line written in red on the form.

She didn’t even bother to answer that. She just gave me that look that young people have when dealing with seniors. Then she took her pen and circled the words in red and dismissed me with the words …“Come back after the car’s been inspected”.

I was confused, as you can imagine, and when I got to my car I decided to take another look …this time with my glasses on. Oh, no. Very clearly in red it was written:

                                                  “NC Inspection Required”
 

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Another year in China:

 
Here they are again … my good friend Lisa and her husband spending their second year teaching in China. This (slightly out of focus) picture is a photo op from their most recent venture to Yangshuo, an area that is famous for it’s Karst formations. They look happy but the bird looks totally bored. I would guess that he’d be much happier hunting prey than being displayed as “window dressing”.

I didn’t know the word Karst so I did some research: Wikipedia says “Karst is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum. It is characterized by sinkholes, caves, and underground drainage systems.” In the U.S. Florida would be an example of this.



Lisa said they stayed in the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat that offered stunning views of the formations. They did lots of walking, and climbing with cave tours and a trip down the Li River in a bamboo boat.

She writes that it was a great respite from the heavily trafficked area of Pinghu where they live and teach and I’m pleased that she shared it with me. Now I can pass it on to you !

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

63 Years ago …

my friend Gayle and I headed out to California on our College summer break. In my last entry I wrote about the fun we had at the Grunion Run in 1952 and I was surprised and thrilled to have Gayle post a comment. She wrote: “I so enjoy reliving our California adventure in your blog memories. I remember us counting our tips after work at Pierpont Inn”.

Ah, yes, that was a memorable time. We had arrived in California after a 5 day Greyhound bus trip and were very pleased to get a job at the prestigious Pierpoint Inn in Ventura.
It was hard work. We were taught to carry the big trays, loaded with food, balanced on our shoulder. By the end of the summer my right arm was actually larger than the left. But, the ambiance and the clientele were delightful and the tips were plentiful.

A memorable Pierpont moment was the night that I had Rory Calhoun as a customer. You younger readers probably won’t recognize the name but he was “big stuff” back then.
The Pierpont was often visited by celebrities but it was seldom that I had a chance to wait on them since they were usually assigned to the older and more experienced waitresses...  and you can see why after you read this. Rory was dressed in his usual outfit...white cowboy boots, white pants & a fancy white shirt. I emphasize the “white” because it was hardly that after I spilled chilled gazpacho on it. I tripped and upset a whole tray of the tomato-based soup into his lap. What a gentleman he proved to be. He insisted that I remain as his waitress and left me a huge tip!

That was truly a magical summer...hard work, sun, sand, ocean and we even saved enough in tips to enable us to fly home !
 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

1952 The amazing GRUNION RUN

 
One of the most memorable nights that I can remember was at a beach just north of Ventura, California. The year was 1952 and my friend Gayle and I had traveled cross country to be there. It was our summer break from college and we were determined to experience as much as was possible in that short time.

We knew nothing about a Grunion Run except that it was a rare occurrence. It was close to midnight and a feeling of tension was in the air as a group of us sat around a blazing bonfire on the sand. There was a full moon and the waves were very active but we had no idea if we would be lucky enough to see the grunion actually make their “run”.

Suddenly a great cry went up, and was heard to echo down the length of the beach: “the grunion are running”...and there they were. Thousands of small, silvery fish were riding a wave to the shore. As the wave receded back into the ocean, the grunion remained on land, the females drilling grooves into the sand as they twirled on their tails, depositing eggs. The male grunion would curve around her in order to fertilize the eggs and the spawning was accomplished before the next wave appeared to return them to the depths of the ocean. It was a sight to behold.

All bedlam broke loose as old and young alike raced for the fish, trying to catch them by hand. They were considered a great delicacy and it was a challenge to harvest them because they were on land for such a short time. The smell of fried fish soon filled the air and I realized that those bonfires were used for more than just alleviating the chill.

Observing the grunion, however, was more to our style than trying to catch them. Gayle and I watched in fascination as the show played out in front of us.. As I understand it, the southern coast of California and the Baja Peninsula are among the very few places where the grunion run so we were fortunate indeed.