Garbage in, garbage out


‘You meet the nicest people at the dump’

I just have to say that my family has way too much fun on our weekly Family FaceTime calls. We started them during the pandemic — and for a couple of years now we’ve been gathering round the ole iPad or iPhone every Sunday at 3PM Pacific Mom Time.

Checking in with Mom and the Sibs on a random Sunday. Jealous of Doug’s Dilly Bar

It doesn’t hurt that every one of my sibs is pretty darned funny. (Those of you who know me in person may be surprised to learn that, in my family, it is not I who is the “Funny One” — or even the “Chatty One.”)

Roger shows off the latest headgear on another random Sunday

To say that we discuss a wide range of topics on these calls would be putting things mildly. Sometimes we’re serious (sort of). Like, this Sunday Youngest Younger Bro Doug reported on the soggy aftermath of a Maine Nor’Easter. (He lost power and his dock got dunked.)

Doug calls this “Submerged Dock at Sunset”

Speaking of soggy, on one of these calls I demonstrated how the lyrics to “The Walloping Windowblind” were stuck in my head. I had been reminded of the song by a line in a Kurt Vonnegut book, Galapagos, that I read because, well, we had just been to the Galapagos. (See “Galapagone” for trip deets.) “I’m off to my love with a boxing glove” is one choice phrase of many. Check out a version of this earworm below. And if anyone can figure out how this song got stuck in my head, please let me know. My Mom swears it wasn’t one of hers.

Mom’s tastes run more to faves like “Attila the Hun” and “The Shiekh of Araby (with No Pants On)” — Try it; it’s fun. Just put “with no pants on” after every line, and you’ve got it.

How we much prefer our FaceTime. This was at The Child’s wedding, which you can check out at “Two Weddings are Better than One”

Like I say, we talk about a whole bunch of stuff. This week we went on for some time about the dumb new name for the Cleveland Indians. Some genius named the team the Cleveland Guardians. Guardians? Just try that in a cheer: “Gimme a ‘G!’…a ‘U!’…an ‘A!’ (etc.) What’s that spell?!? Heck if I know.” Oldest Younger Brother said they could have gone with the Cleveland Rockers. (Because, you know, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.) Much better.

But, you might justifiably be asking, what’s this have to do with a dump? Well, Doug was saying how he has to haul his sunken dock out of the water for the season and how he’s not going to pay somebody to do it; he’ll handle it himself. And we chimed in with stuff we do ourselves. I said I haul my own stuff to the dump. Not only do I save big bucks, but I run into nice people there. Like this guy Craig, who used to be a windsurfing buddy.

One time a whole bunch of nice people — we were on a birding trip in Texas — made a trip to the Brownsville Dump. But not to haul trash. We were there to search for the elusive Tamaulipas Crow, who was otherwise engaged, since we didn’t see him. Maybe he was at the IGA. (See below.)

The good news about Instacart: someone gets your groceries for you. The bad news? Often, that someone gets them wrong

Actually, my current dump-going is tied in with my grocery-going and post-office visiting. Since I have to get in the car to get my mail — there is no postal delivery in Amagansett — I figure in for a penny, in for a pound, as far as car errands go. I get rid of a load at the dump, then tootle over to the IGA to fill it up again. Plus get the mail. One car trip, three errands. Four, if I also make a wine store run. Which, of course, I always do.

New York City. October 2022


The Zoom Zoom Room


‘Connecting in the Time of Corona’

I don’t know about you, but my head is spinning these days. No, it’s not from the craziness of the News Cycle — though the suggestion of ingesting bleach or zapping the inside of my body with “light” is rather mind-boggling — no, my noggin is spinning from all that Zooming.

I’ve been Zooming (or FaceTiming or Facebook Messengering) with West Coast Cousins of The Dude, members of my New York City Ladies’ Club, the Curator of the Frick Museum, and even Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah. (I’ve already written, in “Apocalypse Now,” about Zooming with John Krasinski.

Why, the whole Earth is zooming! (Thanks, New Yorker)

And that was just this week. It’s kind of funny, actually (if anything about this Corona Crisis can be funny), but I’ve been feeling more connected than ever during these weeks of isolation.

Somehow I thought that isolation would be more, well, isolating. But, as it turns out, I’ve got my coffee with the ladies on Mondays, my art lecture on Tuesdays, my Family FaceTime on Wednesdays. And this week, I’ve added a Cocktail Hour with my Bridge Buddies on Thursday. I hardly have time for those endless hours of curled-up-in-a-big-chair-under-an-afghan reading I’d pictured myself doing.

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