Sunday, August 18, 2019

Hummus Plates

I used to prepare cucumbers and carrots on a plate with hummus for Julia before she came home from school. I don't remember why I did this. But I'd open the hummus and place it in the center of her plate with the vegetables arranged around it.

I always salted the cucumber slices to bring out their taste. One time a friend of hers was here and said "Why the salt?" Julia said something like "That's the way we do it."

Now she is a grown woman I wonder if she remembers.


Friday, August 16, 2019

Trump Wants to Buy Greenland?

Sometimes the news is hard to believe but a NYT report today says he has been obsessed with this idea for weeks.

Greenland is a sovereign nation.

Money can't buy you everything. Someone needs to explain that to Trump.


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Writing and Editing

My memoir has stalled. That is a funny way to put it, since I am the author. But whenever a writer gets blocked, in my experience, (s)he is simply not ready yet.

Editing, including self-editing, is different. I continue to rework the language in my memoir. I just haven't been able to add anything.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Breakfast Today

Aidan, Dylan and Julia took me to breakfast this morning. I couldn't eat anything for some reason, but it was great to hear all their news.

They fly back overnight to the east coast to see the Matthiessen relatives and take Julia to her junior year of college.


Monday, August 12, 2019

This Country

Things are going seriously wrong here, politically.

I doubt Trump knows what he is doing but he is messing with history. He is a liar and a fraud -- his supporters will discover his lies when his tax returns finally get released.

Not that that will matter.

Trump voters fear people that don't look like them. They'll keep voting for him.

The rest of us need an alternative leader who represents our best values.



Saturday, August 10, 2019

Back to School

Julia returns axes the country to Goucher College soon. Today we had a family gathering and she got to play with little Bettina.

The Tiglao boys start school again this week.

The Comolli's are in France -- I don't think school starts for a while yet there.

Dylan returns to SF State classes soon.

Aidan starts paramedic training at some point and applies for ambulance driving jobs soon.

I'm stalled on my memoir and feeling weak most of the time.


Thursday, August 08, 2019

Icelandic Socks and Brunch

Dylan, Julia and Aidan took me to brunch this morning. Dylan, just back from his trip to Iceland, brought me a pair of blue Icelandic socks.

Those are my Thursday highlights.

I continue to ponder retiring.



I started working small jobs about 60 years ago. I've been working full-time for 50 years.

Currently, I am on extended medical leave for another few weeks. My recovery is slow -- the medical teams warned me it would be, but this is slow. I'm still struggling just to stand up and walk normally.

My memoir has stalled. It's about half a book. I watch TV all day long, including the same movies over and over.

It's probably unhealthy, but I follow the news closely via CNN, the NYT and the WP.


Wednesday, August 07, 2019


Some days it comes easily, naturally. Some days it doesn't.

My memoir project relies on me having more good writing days than bad days.

When I wake up, usually by 4 a.m., I can tell. The urge is either there or it isn't.

Today, so far it is not.


Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Day by Day

Yesterday started with a neighbor telling me that the attic window was flapping in the wind. Soon a worker and my landlady showed up to address that problem. I was afraid the long ladder he erected would break my kitchen window.

It did not.

A frustration these days is I seem to have lost my sense of direction. When Sarah was driving me to and from Peter's on Sunday I got us lost in both directions. Her GPS got us back on track but I felt embarrassed in front of my grandsons.


Sunday, August 04, 2019

Watching Bettina

Family get-together today and we all were fascinated by almost-ten-month old Bettina. Not shy, very active and on the verge of walking.

Baby watching is great entertainment!


The thing that bothers me these days is when I am in the middle of telling someone a story and I forget the thread. It usually comes back to me later, but too late to finish the story.


Around the Block

My friend Alex from KQED came by yesterday for a visit. He had promised previously to get me out walking and I agreed. For the first time in years, with his help, I walked all the way around the block.

I have recently developed the habit of greeting anyone I encounter in the neighborhood. Yesterday we saw a young woman carrying a bag of soil from her car to her garage. She said she will grow vegetables in her backyard with that soil.

We also greeted another woman walking her dog.

I got tired on the walk but made it back home.


Saturday, August 03, 2019

In Iceland

Dylan and Meghan at the Blue Lagoon.

Friday, August 02, 2019


As the days go by, and my extended medical leave extends, I feel bored. I'm well enough to do things but not as well as I used to. TV and movies only take me so far. Reading The New Yorker? Same -- the articles could use editing.

Time is like before -- I can still hear the clock ticking at certain moments.


It is a sunny day and I am alone.

Earlier, a physical therapist named Nelson came by and we walked to the far end of this block.

Nelson's wife died ten years ago of a heart attack. He said he doesn't want to remarry.


Thursday, August 01, 2019

Strongest Candidate?

Tulsi Gabbard emerged from the field  last night as perhaps the most intriguing candidate. She's articulate and energetic and holds distinct positions on the issues.

Harris and Booker tried too hard and duplicated each other, though Booker may get a bump in the polls soon.

Biden seemed elderly and a bit confused.

The rest were indistinguishable.

Keep an eye on Gabbard.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Debate Reflections

Delaney was a joke -- no one would vote for a person like him. Awful body language and facial expressions.

Warren is not likable -- she is Hillary all over again.

Bernie is probably too old.

At present, I'd say the Democrats are screwed.


Barcelona Arrival

My French-American grandchildren on a beach near Barcelona after their long flight from Oakland.


Part One of Two

The Democratic shakeout is underway. I'd say Sanders and Warren outperformed the others last night and showed why they are among the front-runners.

Biden and Harris go at it tonight.


My home health care appears to be winding down. I'll miss these visits.

In a lapse I missed the deadline to pay off my credit card this month. I've hardly ever done that before. And now when I have virtually nothing to do!


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Democratic Debates

Tonight and tomorrow night in my birth city, Detroit.

There are so many (20) candidates, I don't see how anyone can "win."

CNN, which is hosting the debates, is in full-hype mode.

As I've indicated here, I'm less than impressed by the field. But it's a long time until next year's election. If I had to guess, someone other than Joe Biden will be the nominee, but that it is not necessarily a good thing for Democrats.

Biden would be the latest in a long list of former VPs to run for President. As a group their record is mixed.


Aidan brought me coffee this morning. He will be applying for jobs soon. Dylan and Meg are in Iceland -- he sent me a photo the other day. The Comolli's should be in France by now.


Monday, July 29, 2019

Health Care Is Expensive!

The first bills from Sutter Health Care arrived and already total over a quarter-million dollars. Thanks to my insurance, it looks like I'll just pay a thousand or two.

Still, I realize I can't afford to get sick again. My insurance will run out if I retire yet everyone seems to want me to retire.

I'm like millions of other people -- what shall I do?