Monday, April 17, 2017

Wow! A reply to the previous post:

I always tell my little boy about the tag program and what a great teacher you were for us mr. Horvich! I remember you also never spoke to us like we were babies or little kids. One of my favorite memories is you telling some kid in the hallway he was acting like a jackass. Because he was! And that's when it hit me that you weren't going to talk down to us. You were going to talk with us. I loved every minute of your classes and grew every single day I was in one of your classes

Every Now and Then

Every now and then I connect with a former student and get praise like this:

I wanted to let you know, I jumped on a FB Live with Alexis Del Cid today and your name came up...

She's in broadcasting on a morning show and was on her way to present an award to a teacher in her viewing area. She talked about the value of great teachers and asked who some of our favorite teachers are. 

The thing you did for me in fifth grade, no one has since expressly taught, and that is divergent thinking. In your TAG program, we did many cool and engaging things but what stands out is, you described the process of thinking divergently and had us practice it.

To this day, 30+ years later, there is no single skill that is more valuable to me. The fact that I can take a single scenario and intentionally turn it over in my mind and flip it upside down and inside out gives me an immense freedom to take risks. 

I also believe it gives me an edge over less creative thinkers, in my various chosen fields, that is most of the competition!

I have created new opportunities in life and business, sold things to people who couldn't be "sold", even quite jobs with zero fear of what would come next simply because I am skilled from all those years of internalizing that one simple lesson you taught. 

Thank You!

By the way, I meant to tell her your name is pronounced Hor-Vick, it might have been autocorrected to Hot-Vick which she probably thought was crazy when she read it on air... Sorry Alexis!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

What a Lot of Posts

What a lot of posts today! 

Sat down today to think about what I am up to lately:

ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story, the documentary continues to travel and do well around the U.S.A. and around the world. 77+ film festival acceptances. 35+ awards.

I have begun writing the script for ALZHEIMER'S: The Musical.

I came up with a new concept for an opera using some of my poems called: ALZHEIMER'S: A Poetic Opera, How many poems in a dozen? Eight?

I am working on GYROSCOPE: An Alzheimer's Love Story, my memoirs.

I continue to BLOG here at "michael a. horvich writes."

The MORE THAN EVER EDUCATION FUND second annual luncheon is coming up on Wednesday, May 3. I have been attending meetings with the administrator of the fund, La Casa Norte as well as seeking raffle prizes, mailing out invitations, and regularly posting about the event on social media.

I have recently been invited to join and have accepted a position as Board Member on a fledgling opera group called The Floating Opera Theater.

I have been attending a new group in the area called "The New 100" which is a creative incubator which meets monthly with attendees sharing new works in the arts for the purpose of networking, workshopping, connecting, etc.

There is a possibility that Michael's Museum: A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures, a permanent exhibit at Chicago Children's Museum since 2011, will add a number of collections to the already existing 105!

I do this every now and then to remind myself that I am still alive and not lazy even though it feels at times like I am "slowing down."






Documentary

ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story acceptance # 77: Shorts on the River - OUTwatch: Wine Country’s LGBTQI Film Festival. June 3, 2017


AT THE


Short of the Week

ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story is featured on https://www.shortoftheweek.com. Scroll down to ALZHEIMER'S: A Love Story. Check it out!


Mine And Well Deserved

These are my hips and they can ache if they want to. These are my rotator cuffs and they can hurt when they want to. This is my lower back and if it needs to go out of alignment, I give it my permission. This is my headache and I am entitled to it although I might share it with a few asprin.

My body has served we well for seventy two years. Short of major surgery, which luckily exists if necessary, there is no neighborhood service shop that can oil my joints, retread my feet, tune up my muscle composition, rotate my blood vessels, alter my body mass, or refill my visual ability.

I have earned my pain over the years, variously through accident, injury, neglect, wear and tear, or just plain old age. And I am grateful to my body for the life force that it continues to deliver to me each and every day, especially since I wake up each morning, whether I want to or not. (And I still do!)

I do not complain  and do not talk about my aches and pains as part of the communication involved with friendships or family or feel the need to do so, but for some reason as I was in bed at 12:34 noon today to take a well deserved nap, I notice my hips were aching and I thanked them, welcomed the "zetz" (as they say in Yiddish) they were giving me, and rolled over to doze off.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Number 78

Congratulations!

We are delighted to inform you that your
​ 
​submitted
​​
 ​film,
Alzheimer's: A Love Story
​ 
has 
been selected to screen at the 8
th KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival
​, 
India
 to be held from May 24
th to 28th  2017.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

MORE THAN EVER EDUCATION FUND Luncheon 2017 - One Month From Now



ONE MONTH FROM NOW
Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Orrington Hilton in Evanston, 11:30-1:30. 

1) Thank you to those who have already made yourselves known to me. Will continue sending along periodic announcements between now and then to keep you up to date on our progress!

2) We sincerely hope that you (bring fellow workers and friends) are able to join us at the event. Purchase tickets here:

3) If you are unable to attend please consider making a contribution, any amount large or small. Donate here:

4) If you are able, become a sponsor for the event. Contact Michael at mahwww@me.com for more information.

5) Detailed information about the event:


Friday, March 31, 2017

The Worst Part of Alzheimer's

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I was thinking about the worst part of being on the Alzheimer's Journey with Gregory. At first so many visions assaulted my mind that the answer to my own question was one of numbness. The losses? The frustration/confusion? The sorrow/loneliness? The joys/sorrows? The inability to understand, and at times even to know how to understand the trajectory of the disease?

Then, like a flash, the answer/insight came to me: Life. Living. Being alive ... that was and is the worst part of the Alzheimer's Journey. 

"To be alive is to suffer" according to Buddhist understanding. In part we long for something, feel pain and loss in our lives, look for stability and predictability. We want things to always be the same, the good life; but in fact things change and what is ... is ... and it is not always good. 

Our lives are defined by dissatisfaction. We want better and we want good. Those are not bad expectations but it is not possible to hold on to them forever either. So dissatisfaction is how we deal with the reality of being alive. Things change, things are not always good, everything dies. Everyone changes, everyone dies. Dissatisfaction arises out of our own ignorance of our reality, wanting it to be something other than what it is. Our longing, craving, thirsting is what dissatisfies us as does the changing of our reality.

The study of Buddhism tells us that if we are able to sit with our dissatisfaction, look closely at the reality of life, live in the here and now; we can learn to accept this human dilemma and live wholeheartedly in the here and now, in the face of impermanence, knowing that some day we are all going to die, and that is part of life. We can increase our tolerance of instability and change and learn to appreciate today!

We are different people than we were when we went to sleep last night. We will be different people when we go to bed tonight than we were when we woke up this morning. These differences, at the basic level, are due to sloughing off cells and growing new ones. These differences are also based on our experiences as individuals: what was done today, what was seen today, what was heard today, what was said today.

These differences are what make life and love interesting and vital and in turn make relationships interesting and vital. There are failures and there will be successes. There are illnesses and there will be wellnesses. There are problems and there will be solutions. There are arguments and there will be "making ups." There are tears and there will be laughter. There are sorrows and there will be joys.

Even armed with this knowledge, I so still lament not being able to hold on to the physical interactions which Gregory and I used to have. This part of Gregory's death has been the most difficult part for me to let go. I want to kiss his lips, look into his eyes, smell him, tell him in person that I love him. I want to hold his hand, talk with him, share, hear his voice, walk along the beach together. I want to buy things for him, cook dinner for him, get him flowers and dark chocolates.

But those things can only exist now in memories and when I visit those memories, at times, I panic at the finality of these physical interaction losses. I want to hold on to them and not let them go but that is not within my control. Death arrived, in Gregory's case bringing completion and peace for him as well as for me. In my case it also brought deep grief for the change of a deep love, and is a constant reminder that nothing is permanent. Everything changes! The love has not been lost, but is has changed.

I have learned to "be with" Gregory physically in new ways: I talk with him at bedtime. I still bring him flowers and chocolates (which I eventually eat.) I acknowledge him as I pass his photograph which sits with his shrine in the bedroom. I sound a Tibetan Prayer Bowl to say hello. And periodically I dream about him. 

In my heart I celebrate holidays with him. I buy myself little gifts from him (which I used to do with his permission while he was alive.) I tell his stories and I tell our stories. His name lives on with family and friends, at Chicago Children's Museum, in my blogging, in the More Than Ever Education Fund, in the documentary Alzheimer's: A Love Story which has been accepted to over 75 film festivals worldwide and has won over 35 awards including two from the most prestigious American Pavilion of the Cannes Film Festival. 

So to be alive, to live, is to encounter changes including the ones death brings, including the ones Alzheimer's brings. We will all die. That is not a profound statement. We will also live and hopefully learn to accept that everything changes, that the reality is that we cannot hold on to things permanently, hold close for ever anything, except in our memory while we still live, and that is profound.

Living with Alzheimer's teaches that lesson so well and if you do a good job of giving and receiving unqualified love during the journey you will survive. You will suffer but you will survive, until it is your time to move on. 

In some ways the most important part of the story of Gregory's and my life together is what happens between the lines of: Gregory was born. Gregory lived. Michael was born. Michael lived. Gregory and Michael met each other. Gregory and Michael loved each other.  Gregory lived with Alzheimer's. Michael chose to walk the Alzheimer's Path with him. Gregory and Michael continued to live and to love and received many gifts of understanding from each other. Gregory died. Michael grieves but continues to live. Michael will die. 

That is the reality, so why waste time being dissatisfied? You are doing everything correctly. Be forgiving if you back-step knowing you will again move forward. Observe, acknowledge, accept your reality, and get on with the miracle and joy of being alive, no matter what it may bring!


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

When Stories Begin To Write Themselves at 12:18 AM

This story was motivated by my beginning the reading of Krista Tippit's: Becoming wise: An inquiry into the mystery and art of living, which was a birthday gift from friends Jan and Jerome. (I believe that Tippit's writing is a little more profound than mine but I enjoyed the adventure!)


• • • • •

Even in the bathroom the stories of life unfold and are explained in ways that do not reveal themselves unless looked for or at times asked about.

In that dungeon or that palace, called the bathroom, where we participate in the most basic of bodily functions as well as in fixing the beauty with which we would like to perceive of self, the magical stories of our life can flourish.

We cleanse, purify, and beautify but we also eliminate, pass gas, belch, and at times with illness vomit our insides out.

A look in the mirror can reply, "How beautiful," or "How old and ugly!" We look in the mirror and shift our glaze slightly left, then slightly right until we fix just the image of ourself we want to hold, then leave the mirror behind and carry that image with us, for better or worse,  throughout the day. And this is only one of our stories. But if you look more deeply, even in the bathroom things of your life can tell their stories.

What does the oversized digital clock on the wall over the sink tell me besides the time? Is it reminding me that all things pass, that all things change, and that one day I too will be gone as is my beloved Gregory? Some would say it's just a way of being on time, not keeping someone waiting, not missing an appointment. But that tells a story as well in a different way, doesn't it? 

The $200 Simply Human Magnifying Mirror hanging on the wall next to the large mirror allows me to visit, with accuracy, the pores of my face and attend to them as necessary. It also allows the errant eyelash to be found and washed to safety. Are these activities of vanity or necessity or both. $200? Sounds like an expensive venture, but hell at 72 years of age at least I can see what I'm looking for!

Over the toilet on the wall is yet more of my Asian collection, the majority of which is now at Michael's Museum: A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures, now a permanent exhibit at Chicago children's museum since 2011.

There are three beautiful framed collages done by an older woman named Jo Nelson. Joe and her husband Bill bring her artwork to Evanston each year to show at the art fair which takes place just outside the front door of my condo.

Her pieces are gorgeous, well constructed of many small things, many of which are not only beautiful but also precious: for example the Mud Jade Buddha that is delicately mounted sitting on a wooden platform which is sawed in half and glued to the center of one of the pieces.

When discussing her art, Jo admits she has never been to China or Japan and has no interest in the people, the country, or the history. She just has been attracted to Asian items since she was a little girl and has amassed a vast trove of wonderful pieces which she enjoys weaving into visual feasts.

Surrounding Jo's artwork, neatly spaced to the left and the right are six smaller black shelves, each holding a multi colored ceramic temple or pagota with tiny ceramic mud people artistically placed sitting next to each one. On two longer black shelves, above and below Jo's pieces, are displayed Foo Dogs, Chinese dragons, an iron incense pot, several Asian sculptures, and a Japanese triptych folding screen with a hand painted scene on silk.

I'm not sure of the story that these items tell, short of their being miniatures. Perhaps it's the beauty and spirituality which is so artistically expressed by the Asian peoples. Perhaps it relates to the Buddhist nature that helps define these cultures and most recently has become part of my life as well. 

Hanging, twirling from the HVAC vent running across the back of the bathroom are two mobile units, purchased at the Chicago Museum of Modern Art, each holding12 postcards. Each post card artistically pictures a male nude, some current day photographs and some from vintage times. The men are beautiful or handsome or ruggedly ugly. Their bodies definitely buff. While they are not behaving sexually they certainly suggest sexuality. I'll let you revisit the story that you most likely know they tell about my life :-)

There are three framed large posters in the tub alcove dealing in order with Joseph Cornell, John Lennon, and Madama Butterfly.

The Joseph Cornell poster is from a show of his work, 1903–1972, which took place at the Menil collection in 1997. The Menil Museum is in Houston where Gregory and I visited on a Texas junket to my family who live in Fort Worth. Joseph Cornell's work, done by this non-artist in his garage workshop in the house where he lived with his mother, creates from found and created scraps, environments that at once are surreal and non-existent as well as familiar. I tried my hand at creating some Cornell type boxes but gave up when I realized that I did not have a garage in which to collect the multitude of bits and pieces that on a moment's notice call would be available to create my masterpieces as they unfolded themselves.

We did not get to see the Cornell show but did visit an installation called, "Witness" which provided a huge display of objects selected from the studios and workshops of famous Surrealist artists which they used as inspirations for their work. In the corner of this exhibit, on a well lit wooden platform, was a glass topped coffee table, the inside of which was reachable through a drawer at the bottom of the table, that belonged to Mrs. Menil in which she dumped hundreds of wonderful objects; new and old, precious and common and which she allowed her grandchildren to use to explore, discover, create, tell stories, and more. It was the motivation and prototype for one of the collections at Michael's Museum called the "Table Treasure Hunt." 

The next poster shows a profile photograph of John Lennon with the words from his song "Imagine." The lyrics of the song are stunning: 

Imagine there's no heaven, it's easy if you try, no hell below us, above us only sky, imagine all the people, living for today. 

Imagine there's no countries, it isn't hard to do, nothing to kill or die for, and no religion to, imagine all the people, living in peace.

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one, I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one. 

Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can, no need for greed or hunger, only the brotherhood of man, imagine all the people, sharing all the world.

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one, I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one.

The third poster is a show poster from the Lyric Opera of Chicago dated 1982. The opera is Madama Butterfly by Puccini. This poster is particularly important to me as I was not in the first one but was in three of the returning productions over the years. My role was Uncle, which in some productions is a singing role but not this one, but is an important part of Butterfly's family and part of the wedding party with lots of stage time, up front and center!

On the Wall between the tub alcove in the shower is a handcarved wooden plaque from Thailand which contains in 15 individual niches, 15 hand carved Buddha amulets showing seven pairs of seated Buddha's in variation and one individual pose.

Hanging on the mirror back over the sink, above the red ceramic fountain that contains water running constantly as a drinking fountain for my cats, is a banner with a quote from his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, entitled "The True Meaning of Life." We are visitors on this planet we are here for 90 or 100 years at the very most during that period, we must try to do something good something useful, with our lives if you contribute to other people's happiness, you will find the true goal, the true meaning of life. No need to tell the importance of the story behind this one!

So even in a room as as mundane as a bathroom, If you look closely, and sometimes ask, there are stories to be told.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Today Is My Birthday: Lessons on the Tens

I was born on March 27, 1945. This year I will be 72! Following is an essay, in different form, which was first published in 1995 when I was 50 years old and has been added to a number of times as each new “ten year insight” arrived.

Every decade I seem to come up with a realization of life ... at least life as it appears and applies to me. While the realization itself may not be a new concept, suddenly it “makes sense” to me in a way that the mere words might not have in the past. 

As one ages, there does seem to be an unspoken age restriction. As I have gotten older, I have had to work harder to stay in the flow, so to speak, and to believe that I can accomplish whatever I put my mind to.

Change becomes more difficult because one has more to loose (potentially) and with greater risk. One feels less resilient, less flexible, more attached to routine and habit. I watched this in my parents, thought them the fools, but have gradually seen the same in me, the bigger fool!

I have also calmed down, discovered and like who I am, have belief systems, have faith in my abilities to deal with the ups and downs of being alive. I have had my failures and poor health. I have had my successes and excellent health. 

I have accomplished a lot, been good to others, and live a good life. I am grateful to those in my life and to those who have passed through and on beyond my life.

I have added the 10's, 20',s and 30's in retrospect.  During my 10th (1955) and 20th (1965) year I was too young to do much introspection. During my 30th (1975,) like most young adults, I did not think much of the future as in my mind I was immortal, never would die, didn’t even need life insurance!

The 40’s (1985) shared its message but I did not write about it until I turned 50, realizing that there would be a chain, if I was fortunate, of awarenesses and that I should set them down

The 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s lessons happened and were essayed in real time. The "life lessons" just seemed to dictate themselves to me as I wrote.

1955-Retrospective lesson at 10: I hate! 

I hate school. I hate my classmates. I hate my parents. I hate my life. Men turn me on but I do not understand this (and there are no role models to help.)

1965-Retrospective lesson at 20: Who am I anyway?

When will puberty hit? I am still waiting. Who am I anyway? I do not know what I think, I do not know what I believe, I do not know who I am. I love college but hate studying and tests. I am still attracted to Men, there are very few role models, but I know how to hook up!

1975-Retrospective lesson at 30: I do NOT hate and I am who I am!

Finally graduated college, love teaching, love my life as an adult. My "growing up late or mid-life crisis early" expressed itself as I quit teaching and ran away to Mexico. I have worked at discovering myself. 

I am comfortable with my sexuality. Understand now that I am a homosexual, better known as “Gay.” I have found Men! Had my first love relationship with a man named Robert, which lasted for 13 years followed by meeting my soul mate and best friend and husband, Gregory, for a relationship which would last for 41 years!

Real time lesson at 40 in 1985 but not committed to writing until 1995:   Life is linear. Some choices have to be left behind and there is no going back to those intersections. Your entire life is still ahead of you. Use it well!

After a birthday party my teaching colleagues gave me at lunchtime, I looked more closely than usual at a group photograph of teachers taken many years earlier before I began teaching.

In that photograph there were people I was teaching with now, older than I, who had just begun their career many years ago as a young man or woman, there were pictures of people I used to teach with who were now dead. 

There were some pictures of colleagues who, like me, were forty or forty something. Of course there were no “twenty something” new teachers included in these photos because they were still at their studies at university. I realized that as life goes on, one cannot go back. Life is linear and it usually goes forward

1995-Real time lesson at 50:  Life has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Most of your life is still ahead of you. Use it well! 

With this realization came the idea that life had choices left behind. I still was a person with strong ideals. I still had great wishes, hopes, and aspirations. I still believed that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. But I realized that having come forward (in a linear fashion) I had left behind some choices on the road of life.

I could not “go back” and take those roads any more. They were too far behind. For example, at 50 I would no longer be able to run away to New York to become a young ingénue actor or dancer (although certainly I could still be an actor and maybe a dancer.) I would no longer be able to experience my early days in college and make choices regarding my future (although certainly I could still make many decisons regarding what I wanted to do with my life.) I would no longer be able to share stories with my Gramma Lindenbaum who had died many years before (although certainly I  could still hold her in my heart and talk to her in my memory.)

2005-Real time lesson at 60: In life, there is here and there is the here-after. So live for the here and try not to worry too much about the here-after. A lot of life is still ahead of you. Use it well!

This was a hard decade. My friend Marla was  sick and dying of cancer. My father had been ill and died a few weeks before my birthday. I had problems of my own at home including Lymphoma and a year lost to Chemo Therapy. A few years later and we would receive Gregory's diagnosis of Dementia, most likely Alzheimer's Disease.

While I still considered myself young, my body did not always cooperate. Once I could push a table until it moved, now I would push it until my arm or back gave out. While I still considered myself young, I wondered what 70 would feel like, and 80? And those 20 years certainly would feel different then 20 to 40 or even 30 to 50. Death certainly became a bigger player in my life, that of others and the impending one of my own.

Meanwhile, life is good. I consider myself fortunate in my friends, my family, and in Gregory (now 30 years together and counting.) I am fortunate in the choices I have made in the past, will be fortunate in the choices I still have to make in the future.

And now as I approach my 70th birthday on March 27, 2015, here is my Life Lesson on the Tens for turning Seventy! I could be humorous and say the lesson is looking in the mirror and saying, "How in the FUCK did this happen? Who is this old man?” but last night I did get an insight into my lesson for the 70'S.

2015-Real time lesson at 70: If there are things you want to accomplish in life, it is now or never. No more "When I get to it." or "When other things are in place." or "Maybe someday." It is NOW or NEVER! There is still still life to be lived ahead of you. Use it well!

I am closer to the hereafter than I am to the here. While the lesson may seem negative, the unstated part of the message is,” Live and love, for today because it is all you really have!” 

Many things have occurred to which I hadn’t given much thought between my 60’s and 70’s. My mother died on my birthday, March 27, 2005 when I was 60. I consider it a blessing that she began her next journey on the day she helped me begin mine! My beloved kitty, Mariah, also died when I was 65 and she joins my other kitties, Broadway and Hoover, and countless dogs in the hereafter. 

Gregory’s descent into dementia slowly took its toll through my 60’s and he died October 4, 2015 when I was 70 plus 7 months, 12 years after his diagnosis with dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s Disease. 

With great love there is great grief. So it is with my grief at Gregory’s passing and the 12 years grieving the losses we experienced during his 12 years living with dementia. While I miss him so, have had to question the meaning of life and death, and have been able to create a new physicality with which to relate to Gregory … I came out the other side a better person so aware of the many gifts I have and have been given during my life by the people around me, especially Gregory!

Throughout his decline, we developed new ways of communicating and relating and our love continued to grow even greater and was more pure for being totally unqualified. We both did the best we could, for the most part did it gracefully, and we were definitely NOT victims of Alzheimer’s but rather heros!

The legacy (Gregory and) I have been able to establish as a way of “giving back” include: Michael’s Museum: A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures, a permanent exhibit at Chicago Children’s Museum on Navy Pier; the MORE THAN EVER EDUCATION FUND providing educational opportunities and scholarships to greater Chicago area youth confronting homelessness and administered by the primer not-for-profit organization La Casa Norte; “Alzheimer’s: A Love Story,” a documentary following Gregory and me during the last few weeks of his life, done by the son of Gregory’s best college friend, Gabe Schimmel which has gone on to be accepted by over 75 film festivals across the U.S. and around the world, and winner of over 35 audience and jury awards, including two best of show awards from the Cannes Film Festival! 

Yet to come during my 70’s are desires to get my memoirs published: GYROSCOPE: An Alzheimer’s Love Story.

I also hope to  create “Alzheimer’s: The Musical,” (you may laugh at the title. Many have.) This Broadway musical would cover Gregory and my love story, our journey with Alzheimer’s, as well as the milestones in the history of Gay Liberation. 

I have written a dozen manuscripts of children’s picture books which I would love to get published, want to add a number of collections to Michael’s Museum working with Chicago Children’s Museum, would love to study the volumes of Gregory’s fiction writing and get some of that published posthumously, and would love to document his life and work as an architect. I also hope to continue traveling the world, being with family and friends, enjoying my kitties, loving my condo in Evanston, and wondering what else might come up! 

Today is all you really have and I intend to live well until I die!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Uncanny

Yesterday I attended a play in Boys Town. Before the play I had dinner at a Thai restaurant in the neighborhood. As I was waiting for my dinner, a woman stopped at the window near my table and peered into the restaurant for a few minutes. She was somewhat disheveled, dressed in many layers, had two worn shopping bags, and appeared to be a little "off."

She came in and requested a table for one. She looked at the menu for a while and then got up and came over to my table. "Can you buy me something to eat?" she asked.

"Of course," I replied. "I would be happy to do that." She smiled at me and returned to her table.

After she ordered a noodle dish and three egg rolls, I went over to her table and gave her $20.00 saying, "Enjoy."

"Thank you very much," she countered.

The uncanny thing about this occurrence is that from the moment I saw this woman heading towards the window of the restaurant, the scene played out in my head before any of it happened and I had already decided that I would buy her dinner.

Yes, there is magic and compassion available to all of us!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Thoughts on DT

Only every now and then I need to process my thoughts on Donald Trump, the President and the man, and share them. I'd rather be having a delicious meal or watching an interesting TV show! But here goes:


Just finished filling out the "Official 2017 Democratic Party Survey." In each area, it instructed you, "please choose up to three or four" or "Prioritize 1=most important 10=not as important."

I checked EVERY box or put a "1" on EVERY line. Whoever compiled this survey hit on EVERY thing about President Trump (the president,) Mr. Trump (the man,) and the Trump administration that I believe is not serving the best interests of the U.S.A. and that we need to be vigilant about and work at turning around!

For example, there is a large difference between "dumping" Obama care because it reflects "Obama" and FIXING the parts that need fixing.

But NO, DT and his people and his party (?) do not seem to be acting on behalf of our fellow citizens, but rather in knee jerk, self serving ways. 

Another example, YES, tighten security and vetting of people traveling to the U.S. from Terrorist Known Countries, but why assume that all of them and all Muslums are Terrorists? 

And why feel the need to deport immigrants, legal or illegal (hate that word when referring to human beings) when there could be a way to move them towards citizenship based on the good work they are already doing in the country. And most importantly NOT splitting up families! Of course criminals of any sort should not be free to harm others but being an immigrant does not automatically mean one is a criminal!

And if enough people feel that LGBTQ rights matter, based on the laws that have been passed and votes won; why tamper based on religious beliefs. If you do not believe, you do not have to - but you do have to respect fellow human beings!

Also, while this is a Democratic Party survey, I CANNOT and WILL NOT blame or assume that every Republican does not hold our interests in mind when making decisions, it just seems that right now there are precise few who are speaking out against DT,  are afraid to speak up, and/or seem outnumbered.

There is the possibility that DT might begin to approach thinking about our best interests, and he might have some really good ideas, but I do not trust the man for the attitude, behaviors, and actions he has so far taken. He has not changed much from the iconic lie telling, fact manipulating, self-serving, cry baby candidate we watched pull the election!

I am actually sending the Democratic National Committee my support of $25.00

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Botanic Garden Orchid Show 2017

Visited the 2017 Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden
with my friend Pat who was in town from Portland
to help me celebrate my March 27th birthday early.
















This is a Gardenia. Not an orchid. But is probably my favorite "stinky" flower!


































I brought home a miniature orchid for Gregory's shrine.

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