Friday the 13th

Persian Buttercup

Superstition holds Friday the 13th to be an unlucky day. It, along with black cats, walking beneath ladders and Mercury being in retrograde give this spooky occasion the air of a mini-Halloween. I’m not particularly superstitious, but tonight might be a good night to just stay home and not go out to Camp Crystal Lake, with Jason and the rest of gang. Still, Friday the 13th is better than Monday the whatever.

MSD Update: Concrete was laid today. This is a sure sign that the end of this ordeal is drawing nigh. We’ll still have to wait a while for the concrete to cure, before we can start using our driveway again. Hopefully, in a week or two an asphalt topcoat will be laid, giving us a nice new street. Our parking strip is a mess and I don’t have high hopes for MSD doing any meaningful remediation. That will have to wait until they and all of their crap has left for good. 

Election Day Recap

Purple Pickle Plant Flower

The old adage goes that all politics is local and this was certainly true yesterday. Anne worked her marathon election official gig again and I supported one of our friends, who was running for office. Sandi won her seat on the Maplewood city council. In a three-way race, she easily beat her two opponents with 58% of the vote. I only helped her a little, but I got a free t-shirt out of the experience. Her ward has two polling places and I poll watched at the satellite site, the VFW hall on Big Bend and tagged team with her husband Chris.

I only spent two hours at the poll, compared to Anne’s double shift, but it was still quite interesting. While Chris ran home to attend to the dogs, I was still accompanied by Lois, who was soliciting signatures for an upcoming medical marijuana ballot initiative. In her company, I was just a greenhorn and she the seasoned pro. Pat Dolan, our county councilman also swung by. His election isn’t until August, but he wanted to plant a yard sign for the exposure. It was a nice experience and I look forward to repeating it again this year.

Today, is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I remember that day and the days that followed. I was in high school at the time. Living in suburban Maryland outside our nation’s capital. King’s death sparked riots in Washington and elsewhere. Buildings within blocks of the Whitehouse were destroyed by arson, causing the sale of gasoline into cans to be banned. I was mowing lawns at the time and this would have inconvenienced me, except that I had learned to siphon gas out of the tank, making this law seem just silly.

Later, my high school in an effort to teach us all about discrimination ran an exercise, where for a week blondes were “discriminated” against. They were restricted to special lunch tables in the cafeteria and also subjected to other indignities, which I don’t remember anymore. I do remember that one of my blonde friends temporarily dyed his hair, so he could pass. This exercise made the national news causing additional notoriety. In hindsight, I am left wondering, what were we thinking? I guess we just didn’t know what to do. 

The Color Purple

African Daisies

The night of the day that we returned home from California, we had theater tickets at the Fabulous Fox. “The Color Purple” was the musical playing. This new show features a score of gospel and rhythm & blues numbers and differs significantly from the Spielberg movie. Its Spartan set features three floor to ceiling wooden panels that resemble the unpainted walls of some dilapidated shanty. Dozens of wooden chairs hang from these panels. The actors sometime take down one of these chairs that serve as the play’s only props.

Minimalist is an apt description of this show. Based on the Alice Walker novel, this musical was first produced on Broadway in 2005. This revival debuted in 2015. “The Color Purple” with its twin themes of racism and sexism resonates in the current political clime. This relatively quiet production served as a departure from the Fox’s usual loud and brassy fare and made a nice interlude. 

Because of our vacation, I had to move our tickets for “The Color Purple”, to a later date. This wasn’t any problem, because our new seats were just as good as our regular ones. We won’t be traveling during the next show in this series. That is because the next show is “Hamilton”, which is all sold out. We have been planning this event for over two years now and have 15th row center seats. So, this is a big deal in Saint Louis and I am not throwing away my shot…

Vegan Vampires

Phalaenopsis hybrid (unknown parentage)

We were not awakened by a Kelly robo-call, unlike the day before. A call that asked Anne to report to school two-minutes ago. Beam me up Scotty, I’m late for school! I’m a sorry captain, but not even the trans-warp flux capacitor does time travel. I canna do it. This day, we did receive at the same time a Kelly callback. It was a human this time, who satisfactorily answered, Anne’s time card question. This exchange left us both free for the day, a play day. Woo-Hoo!

We motored over to the botanical gardens and caught the orchid show. I had seen it once already, but this was Anne’s first turn through. Together, we ran a photo safari through the show. We also toured the Climatron and actually got more interesting photographs there. Afterwards, it was starting to turn chilly, so as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough go to lunch.

After much hemming and hawing. mainly on my part, we ended up at Lu Lu’s on South Grand. I really shouldn’t belittle this decision-making process, because it is one of the three fundamental questions posed to all mankind: Do I eat it or does it eat me and where do we go for lunch? This vegan eatery allowed us to mercilessly mash with our molars, members of the vegetable kingdom, whose very cousins we had just spent the last few hours admiring. Talk about the irony of it all (Oh, the humanity!) and thank God that beer is vegan too, because I love to drink yeast’s blood or is it really there poop? Whatever. Bottoms up!



It is still February. There is still morning frost. However. It was in the sixties when I bicycled in Forest Park today and these beauties were blooming when we walked past them yesterday. Could this be spring? Maybe. There are still plenty of names left in the Weather Channel’s alphabet of winter storms. I first thought that naming blizzards was a dumb idea, but now I believe that it is a good idea. Personalizing them makes one more aware and better prepared. I won’t worry about that today. I’ll worry about that tomorrow. Today, I reveled under that big boiling ball of gas (plasma actually) in the sky and I plan on doing this again tomorrow. So, I guess I’ll have to push off any winter worries for another day or two or maybe more…