Unrequited Love

Sunset Waters

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Sonnet 116, William Shakespeare

Has ever more human angst been spent on love that is not returned? William Shakespeare wrote sonnets to his loves. He wrote them longhand in fourteen line iambic pentameter verse. Now a days, he might just tweet in 140 characters.

On this subject, you should consider me no more an expert than a man landing from Mars. I and my love have requited for over forty years, since high school. This week, we danced together in our kitchen, before six AM, to Leslie Gore’s recent PSA, You Don’t Own Me. I’m no expert on love, remember, I’m the man from Mars, but maybe the luckiest. I found my ideal woman from Venus. I’m just so grateful to have it, the love of a good woman.

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts during my lunchtime, walk the engineer exercise. Dan, my usual walking buddy was on travel, so I automated him. This day’s podcast was Slate’s Cultural Gabfest, their article on the social dating website, HeTexed struck a chord. The following is an example of one of their most quoted he texted dialogs.

Thanks for last night.
Can we meet up again soon?
Okay, can you answer one question???
Why did you give me that bag S

While there is a certain haiku to some of these dialogs, the entire website stinks of male misogyny. It preys upon the natural female habit of girl exegesis.  In return, this website only offers a yes, no or maybe crowd sourced response. In this example, “He’s into you” 9, “He’s not into you” 547. Really not very good advice to the love-lorn, much better sport for the mob.

In years to come, I may have to get back into the dating scene. I’m married for life, as is my wife and I pray that we both enjoy a long life together. In that event, the following scenario is our fall back position: 

An elegantly dressed, elderly woman walked into a bar. She must have been in her eighties. A little while later, a dapperly dressed old man came into the bar. Spying the lady, he saddled up next to her and sat at the neighboring bar stool. I overheard his pickup line, “Do I come here often?”

Trolls and Trollettes

Herring Gull at Asilomar State Beach

I was going to make this post another political rant, but instead I’ll offer up this cautionary tale about blogging and the perils that blogging entails. Simply put, if you keep your mouth shut, other people may think that you are an idiot, but they can’t really be certain and unless you say something dumb there is no way they can prove it.

However, if you have the temerity to write a blog, then on a regular basis you end up spewing forth on whatever subjects strike your heart. Unless you are very smart, very careful and/or very timid, eventually you’ll say something stupid. Then your idiocy becomes a matter of degree. 

I know that I have successfully demonstrated my idiocy from time to time, but my stupidity pales compared that of a professional dumb-ass. To that end I give you Mr. and Mrs. Mark Harris. During a trip to Epcot at Disney World, a couple of weeks ago, Mark Harris and his wife were offended to find a ‘Mexican’ employee working at the amusement park’s American pavilion. According to Disney this pavilion showcases the different cultures in the United States. Why should I speak for Mr. and Mrs. Harris, when she makes her points so much more succinctly in their blog. 

OK, I’m an idiot to try to sneak by you such a patently partisan story. These people happen to be Republicans. Next week, I’m sure that there will be an analogous story about some Democratic idiot. My underlying story is that such people should not be writing a blog. Doing so offers them no benefits that I can see.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t count myself in the above august company. Don’t let my above self-effacing convince you otherwise. I may occasionally write a bad blog post, but I’m not a bad blogger. I’m no great writer, but I’m not a bad blogger. I say this, because I don’t try to say hurtful things.

5 Doctors and a Practical Nurse

The Blogger

Five doctors and a practical nurse couldn’t save him, that’s what I heard this morning. I was bicycling in the park, before work. Finishing up my miles, I was doing one more Muny mile before I headed home. Another cyclist passed me then he paused and coasted back to me.

“Is that Mark”, he asked? I assented, though I did not know his name. My residual fame is a legacy of riding all winter long for many years. It causes one to standout among a crowd of winter runners. With concern he asked, “I don’t see you riding in the mornings much anymore?”

“I mostly ride with my wife now-a-days and she’s not a morning person”, I lamely explained.

“Well, that’s a good thing, riding with your wife”, he said not really buying it.

Then he laid his bombshell on me, “I saw a man die in the park here on Saturday. He was riding up Skinker Avenue on a bike like yours, only not quite so nice.” [I kid you not, but that is what he said.] “He had a seizure and collapsed. There were five doctors and a practical nurse there trying to revive him, but he died in the fifteen minutes it took the ambulance to arrive.” [If he had had a better bike, he might have lived?]

Speechless, I could only manage an “uh” in reply.

Having unburdened himself of his news he decided then to depart. “I gotta go now, Mark”, he said as he kicked up his pace, “Have a nice day!” 🙂

Hottie, Hot, Pardie*

Ronald McDonald

Last night, Nik Wallenda, one of the flying Wallendas walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. This was a nationally televised event that garnered much press. My brother Chris, had sent me three photos of the Wallendas, last year, when they performed in Santa Cruz. I had posted these on the blog last year. When I check my blog’s statistics this morning, I was surprised by the large number of hits that it had gotten, all in just one night. I saw that these new-found hits were on the photos of the Wallendas and put two-and-two together. The most surprisingly aspect of this phenomenon was that 99% of the hits were not for the two previously linked to pictures, but for the photograph of Erendira Wallenda. Poor Nik’s came in a distant third and he was the one who had to walk across the waterfall. 🙄

“It’s toasty today”, “No, it’s steamy”, they argued heatedly.

Anne and I did our usual bicycle routine in the park before noon today. Toasty or steamy, it is going to be a hot one today. We encounter a charity bicycle ride to benefit the local Ronald McDonald House, led by you know who. Their numbers were too much for us, so we bailed from the bicycling trail and hit the road. That structure that we encountered the last weekend in the Deer Lake portion of the park is now complete. I thought that it was going to be a wedding chapel, but it turns out that it is a self-described “pop-up” restaurant. It calls itself the Demitasse Underground Restaurant or Demitasse 665 and it will only be open for a total of six nights, through next weekend. There looked to be seating for about twenty people. This is not your normal restaurant’s business model.

“That is sweat dripping off my nose”, she said snottily.

Certainly, our dance card was full this weekend. Surely, we went to a birthday party Friday night and Saturday night, we have a retirement party to attend. Truly, Friday’s birthday party for Captain Don, our captain of Team Kaldis was a very grand affair. It was held on the wide wrap around veranda of the Black Finn, a fine new restaurant at the north end of the Galleria. Verily, in addition to ‘O Captain, my Captain’, all of the other Ons were present too. When Dave was younger, I would come home and ask for messages. He would say that one of the Ons [Don, Ron, John] had called. He never bother to differentiate between any of them, so his messages were less than informative, par Dé by God.

Tonight’s party is for Linda Henke. Linda is retiring as Superintendent of the Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District. Linda presided over the turnaround of our school district from receivership, the graduation of both of our sons and Anne’s employment for many years. We look forward to celebrating her achievements and career.

* Certainly; surely; truly; verily; originally an oath, par Dé.

May-apple Leaf Rag

May-apple Leaf

The leaf in this post’s photo is of a May-apple. It is sometimes known as an Adams Apple, mandrake root, raccoon berry, wild lemon, Indian apple, duck’s foot or the umbrella plant. It is a perennial, native to wooded areas of eastern North America. Its stems grow with two or three lobed leaves with 5-9 deeply cut lobes on reproductive individuals, or one umbrella-like leaf on sterile individuals. The May-apple has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes, originally by indigenous people and later by settlers. The plant in the above picture was sterile.

Yesterday, I added a new page to this blog. It is entitled ‘Calendar Pixs’. This page has the photographs that were used in the 2010 and 2012 calendars that I made on Lulu. The permanent link is at the top of this page, but for those who have trouble finding it, and you know who you are, I’ll give you this easy to find link to the page, here.

I got out on my bicycle after work today and rode the Katy trail. I rode 17 miles, did not flat and my bike computer worked, all better than last week’s inaugural ride. I startled a black snake on the trail. I had just rounded a corner and it was sunning itself in the middle of the trail. Fortunately, it had more presence of mind than I did, because it beat a hasty retreat, before I could even react. This is a good thing, because me and black snakes, we have a history together.

In the daily trench warfare that passes for our presidential campaign, the Democrats were the ones that got off the snappy one-liner today, and it came from a most unlikely source, Joe Biden. Biden praised Obama’s record with, “Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive”. Then he added that reverse might be true if Romney had been the president.

The Romney campaign’s retort was in the form of a question, “Why is the United States under Obama abdicating its leadership for keeping stability in the world?” What the heck does that mean? Are they playing Jeopardy? Does he think that we can abdicate, because we are the king of the world? I thought that that was James Cameron.