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Everything that's gold does not glitter

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Slips of Perception

It is a well-known fact that two people can witness the same event and come away with vastly different impressions.  When they meet, they will point at each other and exclaim “That’s not how it happened!”  For a prime example of this, just get my sisters and me in a room together, discussing any given childhood experience.  You wouldn’t believe that...

Recall

  Saturday afternoon.  I am over in the next county sitting in the waiting room of a giant auto dealership, waiting for one of our cars to be serviced.  We have two vehicles, completely different models and manufacturers, but both have been subject to recalls in recent months.  Lacking a mechanical bone in my body, I don’t even try to understand what...

Passover Food Challenges

With the eight days of Passover starting Monday night, I find myself feeling a bit nostalgic.  I first led a Seder, the traditional family dinner at which we recite the story of the Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt, at the age of six.  Neither of my parents were able to read the Hebrew and Aramaic from the Haggadah, and I had already been attending...

Hamantashen? Not This Year

We’re just a couple of weeks away from Passover and eight days of matzo, but I’m still thinking about Purim, now a few weeks in the rear view mirror.  Several years ago, not long after I began writing this blog, I marveled at my amazing good fortune at having hamantashen show up in the break room at work around Purim time.  I had been craving these...

Removal

A “removal” used to mean moving a dead body from a home or hospital to a funeral home in preparation for burial or cremation. In President Trump’s America, however, the term has come to refer to deportation from the United States.  Still, when I think of “expedited removals,” the image that comes to mind is one of a black hearse screeching up to the...

Nine Days, or Wound Care for the Clueless

Sumi, my first Scrabble partner at last week’s tournament.  I think his name is supposed to sound Japanese, although to me it just sounds litigious. Monday It rained most of last night and it’s still raining.  The Cosumnes River is expected to overflow (again) by Wednesday if this keeps up.  The weather people say this will go on all week. My second...

Breakfast of Road Warriors

Lobby of the Marriott Convention Center, Riverside, California RIVERSIDE Vegan on the Road A perpetual concern of travelers everywhere is what to do for breakfast.  Lack of planning on the part of the traveler is common, and the quality of the traveler’s experience is thus largely in the hands of one’s innkeeper.  Unless you’re staying at a “bed...

Truck Stop Music

Vegan on the Road A fairly ordinary truck stop at the edge of the interstate gets a musical makeover. SANTA NELLA Among the first things I notice in a restaurant or other retail establishment is the quality (or lack thereof) of the recorded background music piped in through the speakers tucked into the ceilings.  At the TA Truckstop on Highway...

A Warm Bed Tonight

We ran into Roy today, wandering around the supermarket parking lot as usual.  We hadn’t seen him in a week or two, but we drove through a fast food place for a soda on the way downtown and there he was, stumbling about.  There was no doubt that he had gotten hold of his drink or three earlier in the day.  I have no idea whether alcoholism drove him...

Almost Home

He had plastic bags wrapped around his shoes He was covered with the evening news Had a pair of old wool socks on his hands The bank sign was flashing “5 below” It was freezing rain and spittin’ snow He was curled up behind some garbage cans I was afraid that he was dead I gave him a gentle shake When he opened up his eyes I said “Old man, are...

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