Posted tagged ‘Boston Globe’

“It was a morning like other mornings and yet perfect among mornings.”

October 25, 2016

When I first got home from Ghana, I was waking up around 4, or if I slept in, around 5. Now I am waking up at 8 or, like today, closer to 9. In Ghana, I was asleep by 9 or 9:30 at the latest. Every morning, the rooster woke me up when it was still dark, and I’d sleep fitfully until 6 or so. I go to bed much later now, and there are no roosters or calls to prayer   in the early mornings to wake me up. Where am I going with this? Well, I am writing Coffee so much later now. I take my time in the mornings and read both papers. I also do the crossword in the Globe and the cryptogram in the Cape Times. Sometimes I have breakfast, but most mornings I just drink coffee. I am in no hurry. That’s a piece of Ghana still with me, and I’m holding on to that for a while. Mornings should be leisurely. I can think of no better way to start the day.

For the first time, Massachusetts is allowing early voting. I figure on hitting the booth today. I figure it is a foregone conclusion as to who will win the state. Massachusetts is about as blue a state as there is. We even voted for McGovern, and I think we were the only state which did. Later, after President Nixon resigned, bumper stickers appeared which said, “Don’t blame me. I’m from Massachusetts.”It was wonderful being clairvoyant.

This morning I watched an Edward G. Robinson movie on TCM called Confessions of a Nazi Spy which was released in 1939. EGR played an FBI agent who hunts down Nazi spies one at a time by capturing members of a spy ring operating in the United States. I did a bit of sleuthing and found out it was based on the articles of former FBI agent Leon G. Turror who had been active in investigating Nazi spy rings in the United States prior to the war and lost his position at the Bureau when he published the articles without permission. The movie was banned in Germany, Japan and many Latin American and European countries. The music played during the credits was God Bless America. I liked the movie and figure the obvious propaganda was well timed.

My laundry is sitting in front of the cellar door where it has been for five or six days. I have plenty of clean clothes of all sorts. Needing clothes seems to drive my doing the laundry; however, I am getting tired of looking at that laundry bag so I have a couple of choices. I can throw the bag down the cellar stairs and shut the door or I can do the laundry. I’m leaning toward doing the laundry. I can be a sloth for only so long.

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“good girls go to heaven and bad girls go everywhere”

February 29, 2016

Today is so windy that everything is blowing. I hear the chimes, and I can see the tops of the pine tree trunks bending and swaying. I filled the bird feeders earlier and it was chilly, all because of that wind.

It is just one of those days. I couldn’t get into my computer because I kept giving it the wrong password. I didn’t even remember what my hint meant so I had to go through the rigmarole of resetting the password. I walked into the kitchen to get another cup of coffee and ended up on the deck filling bird feeders. I never did get that coffee. I’m thinking I’ll use sticky notes to describe my task and where I’m going. We’re talking in the house, not on the road.

Last night I watched the Oscars. I expected to be bored, but I wasn’t. I actually enjoyed most of it. I had only seen two movies and one of then, Spotlight, won best picture. It was about the Spotlight team of the Boston Globe and its investigation into child sex abuse by Catholic clergy. One of the worst abusers, Father Shanley, was a priest in my parish. He abused some of my classmates so I had a vested interest in the movie.

When I was a kid, I didn’t know anything about sex. I always thought that meant male or female. Fill in one circle. It never occurred to me to wonder how babies started or how they finished. I was seven when my youngest sister was born, and I don’t even think I noticed my mother was pregnant. All of a sudden there was a new baby. I forget when I started to get curious. I think it was my early teens. We were naive in those days. None of us knew much, but we had a lot of questions. When I was in the eighth grade, one of the priests gave us a quick introduction to the basics. He used the chalk board and drew pictures, but that didn’t help much.

In high school, they separated the girls and the boys for a more in-depth introduction to reproduction. They had visual aids. I don’t remember who gave the talk, but I do remember the girl next to be was a nervous wreck. She shook so much that we all shook because we were sitting in linked canvas chairs. That was the talk where more than the basics were covered.

In high school I didn’t know personally know anyone who had had sex. Outside of marriage only bad girls did was what I was taught. We did hear rumors about girls, and they  were tagged with bad names like town pump. We whispered about them. We didn’t hang around with them. Nobody wanted a bad name.

Keep in mind that girls thought differently than boys. We didn’t see a triumph. We saw a bit of disgrace.

It was college and the 60’s which gave my generation a whole new perspective on sex. I’m guessing the nuns probably gave the same lecture but I’m thinking there were smirks. Besides, what in the heck did nuns know?

“To win the people, always cook them some savoury that pleases them.”

August 7, 2015

Today is truly another day in paradise. The weather is sunny, dry and in the high 70’s. The breeze, coming from the north, is cooling. It ruffles leaves and sways the smaller branches. It is nap time here. Fern, Maddie and Gracie are sleeping. The cats are each on a different couch and Gracie is snoozing in her crate. I can hear her snoring. I’m thinking an afternoon nap might be just the thing.

The Globe gave me a few chuckles this morning. A video, part of the robbery at the Gardiner Museum, has been released. From the night before the heist, it is possibly a dress rehearsal for the real event the next night. It shows Guard Richard Abath opening a door to let the man inside the museum. The next night it was Abath who opened the door to two men dressed as police officers who went inside, subdued Abath and tied him up. There are other issues connected to Abath, but my chuckle came from a man who was a student with Abath back in the day. The man, Knight, called Abath “a very nice guy, very intelligent, very well-read.” Knight recalled Abath said it was an honest mistake letting in the men posing as officers. Knight went on to say, “I hoped he was not involved in this. It would certainly cast him in a different light if in fact he was proven beyond a reasonable doubt he was guilty. That would alter, in my mind, his overall character significantly.” Do you think?

Another article described the top Argentinian officials facing charges in a 1994 bombing. “On a day of heavy rain, several of the 13 men were ushered into court…”I have no idea why we needed to know it was raining, but once we did I wanted more. Did they wear raincoats, use newspapers to cover their heads or have umbrellas? I want the full story!!

My favorite of all is the SJC (the state’s Supreme Judicial Court) has tossed out a law which made it illegal to lie in political campaign material calling it “inconsistent with the fundamental right of free speech.” The court explained, “Citizenry, not the government, should be the monitor of falseness in the political arena.” So what happens when your opponent fills the air waves with lies about you? According to Justice Cordy,”That solution is counter speech.” In other words, tell your own lies. Let the people figure it out the truth on their own. How scary is that?

“Erratum. In my article on the Price of Milk, ‘Horses’ should have read ‘Cows’ throughout.”

June 11, 2015

Yesterday was a busy day for me. Gracie and I did a dump run then I did some home chores. One was to attach the umbrella light adapter to the bottom of the umbrella then plug the other end into an outlet. Last year I was clever. I had a hole drilled in the deck for the adaptor to go through then I unbent a wire hanger. The top loop of the hanger was left intact and stayed in the hole on the deck, but the rest of the hanger went into the hole and hung down under my deck. I went and tied the adapter to it, climbed upstairs to the deck and pulled the wire through the hole then attached the adaptor to the umbrella. It was a brilliant idea and well-executed. This year I went to do the same thing. On the first try I got the adaptor tied and through the hole to the ground under the deck. I went to attach it to the umbrella but dropped the wire which immediately fell through the hole. It took me four more tries to get that stupid adaptor end connected. That’s four times under the deck standing on my tiptoes to tie the adaptor, four times up the long staircase and four times on my knees trying to attach the adaptor.

My next job was replacing the storm in the front with the screen. I didn’t do the back door screen, the dog’s door, as I figured nights might still be chilly, and the inside door is kept open. That storm door pane weighed what seemed a ton and it was awkward to move. Going down the cellar stairs was a bit dangerous for me given my penchant for falling. I imagined a fall, shards of glass and a penetrated femoral artery. Luckily all went well.

It was hot yesterday, in the high 70’s. Today is supposed to be the same with some rain later, but there is a cloudy sky and a wonderful breeze. The house is cool.

The Globe this morning had an interesting tidbit of news. The State Police captured one of their most wanted, Keith Truehart. He was found in a hide-out built of wood and sheetrock under a sink in an apartment. It seems no one knew he was there. I’m thinking I’d notice a hide-out under my sink. Anyway, he was wanted for assault and battery on a child, a nine month old baby. From the article I gleaned the baby was his girlfriend’s baby, but this is what I read,”The baby was Truehart’s girlfriend, who lives in the North Main Street apartment where he was captured. His girlfriend is not under arrest at this time.”Whew!

“I got hired by a newspaper to write a column on current events, so I wrote about Benjamin Franklin’s charting of the Gulf Stream.”

January 3, 2015

No new experiences can be had sitting in my den. I haven’t been outside for a few days except to get the mail and newspapers and fill the feeders. Last night I noticed two strings of lights on the deck rail were no longer lit so I went out and unwound them from the deck. It was cold, and I wondered why in the heck I was doing that. I didn’t have an answer but once I started I needed to finish. Now only half the rail is lit, and I’m wrestling with the half full, half empty concept.

We, Gracie and I, have to go out today. She is out of canned food, my trunk is filled with trash and I need to go to the pharmacy. It is an ugly day, cold and cloudy. Rain is expected tonight. It is a perfect day to hunker down, but that will have to come later.

I diligently read two papers every morning. When I write that here, I always get comments about reading on-line and why aren’t I. That’s easy to answer. I like the feel of the paper, the sound of the pages and all the small pieces of content. It takes me a while to read both papers. I skip over international news in the Cape Times as I had already read it in the Globe. I pick and choose what to read on the sports pages. I am first and foremost a baseball fan, but I have a while to wait before it resurfaces. I read football stories if they are about the Patriots. I am not such a football fan that anything else is of interest except I did read about Rex Ryan cleaning out his office even before he was fired on Black Monday. In college I seldom missed a home hockey game, but I don’t like hockey, never have. It was the pre-game festivities which drew me in college. I do like basketball, but I haven’t followed the Celts the way I used to.

The last thing I do in the Globe is the crossword puzzle. The last thing I do in the Times is the cryptogram. The puzzle gets finished. Sometimes the cryptogram doesn’t and that drives me crazy and frustrates the hell out of me. I tend to ball up the page and toss it. That makes me feel just a little bit better.

This morning I finished both of them.

“If a man whistles at you, don’t turn around. You are a lady not a dog.”

August 28, 2014

Even though it is still summer I can feel the season packing its suitcase to get out-of-town. The changes are subtle. Shadows are different, the nights are comfortable despite how warm the day gets, the morning breeze is sometimes from the north and there is little humidity. The cars seem fewer. Even the rental next door was empty all week. This weekend, though, will be busy being the last hurrah and all.

Today is lovely. Only bird songs break the quiet. It is nap time for all my animals. Gracie is snoring from her crate, Fern has settled on a couch pillow and Maddie, for once, has the spot in the sun Fern usually grabs. They must be exhausted after sleeping all night.

On the front page of the Globe, one of the stories was about the debate between democratic candidates running for attorney general. Ordinarily I couldn’t care less. I can’t even name the current attorney general. This debate, though, has created, according to the Globe, a firestorm. The male candidate called the female candidate’s aggressive line of questioning “unbecoming” which, according to women’s political groups, is one of those inflammatory sexist words. The male candidate, Tolman, apologized the next day and explained that he meant “as candidates for attorney general we should be held to a higher standard.” Romney, in a 2002 race for governor, described his female opponent in the same way. I don’t know if Tolman was being sexist but his word choice is incendiary. I was reminded of when I was a kid and told to stop whatever I was doing and “act like a lady.” I hated being told that and it made me sad and a little afraid for the future. I couldn’t imagine growing up and living by a behavioral code which limited how I dressed and what I said and did. Who decided how a lady acts? I figured I was going to be in trouble most of my life. I was never a kid for convention.

My favorite quotes in the article came from previous campaigns in other states. In 2012 in Missouri the male candidate described his female opponent as not particularly “ladylike” during a debate. In Minnesota the same year, Senator Amy Klobuchar was referred to as a “Daddy’s little girl” and a “prom queen” by her opponent.

How to act like a lady has gotten blurry, but it has yet to disappear. I’m thinking I still might need a handbook.

“The desire to reach for the sky runs deep in our human psyche.”

October 8, 2011

The weather is absolutely gorgeous. I haven’t seen Gracie all morning. She’s been on the deck and roaming the back yard. The cats are in the sun. I’m the only one holed up in a dark room in the back of the house. Soon enough I’ll remedy that!

An article in the Boston Globe this morning mentioned that the Pan Am World Wing International congress is in Boston this year. It’s a reunion of women who flew as PanAm flight attendants. The article mentioned that the women think the new show PanAm gets everything right except the pilots who weren’t young but rather mostly in their 40’s and 50’s, veterans of WWII. They said girdle and weight checks were done regularly so they could fit into the tight skirts which were part of the uniform.

I flew PanAm several times including back from Africa. That was the flight which had a buffet under the stars, tables set up in the back of the plane with meats, cheeses, salads, breads and  rolls. At one point the pilot asked people to sit down and take turns at the table as the tail of the plane was dragging from the weight.

I always thought of PanAm as a modern magic carpet which could take you anywhere. I flew on it when few people flew to Europe or any exotic destinations. I remember going to the back of the plane, putting up the seat arms and lying down to sleep across a row of empty seats. Back then it was the only US airline which flew to Africa. The flight started in East Africa then made its way to West Africa with stops in Lagos, Accra, Monrovia and Dakar. We could get off at each stop and stretch our legs. I remember walking around on the tarmac in both Monrovia and Dakar.

I know I’ve mentioned before that if I could go back in time I’d ride the PanAm Clipper. I’d go to Singapore and have a drink or two at Raffles Hotel. I’d fly all over the PanAm world; of course, I’d also be rich enough to do that. It is, after all, my dream!