Daily Archives: February 3, 2017


I don’t know why this didn’t publish on my Facebook on Wednesday, so I am reposting this again today:   Have you ever experienced a moment so intense or unexpected that it feels as if you can feel the vibrations of fear and anxiety? I don’t mean physically, per se, although that might also be […]


Bob is out of town with my middle daughter on a college visit and I am lonesome for him.  I slept with all the lights on last night like I usually do when he’s gone.  But he’ll be home tonight and that will be good. I just hope everything goes well at the college and she can make her decision soon.

I haven’t done much of anything today. I need to work more on my next essay for class that I started yesterday.  It’s talking about how I would up a freelance writer.  I need about 500 more words to meet the minimum word count for this one.  I think I know how I’m going to finish it, but I’m not positive about how to do it.

I’m in a pretty good mood today. I kind of want to get out of the house and do something but I’m not sure what. I tried to find someone to go to lunch with but all my phone calls were unanswered.   So I am staying in for lunch at least.

I found out last night that the new girl in the program that reached out to me about bipolar disorder has already pulled out of the classes.  I asked her what happened, and she just said she didn’t think grad school was what she needed to do right now.  I hope she is all right.



img_1298Travel rarely goes as expected. All the pre-planning, list-ticking, and worst-case-scenario pondering can’t foresee the unforeseeable.

Case in point:

Denver had a little weather yesterday. Just a little. Snow flurries and a bit of ice. Air traffic control asked our flight out of Des Moines to sit tight while they took care of that. Subsequently, I had 10 minutes to get from one end of the Denver airport to the other to catch my connection to Albuquerque.

In an understandable heightened state, I thought I heard the flight attendant say all checked baggage would be taken to their planes. I had to check my bag at the gate, so I thought I was safe to bolt and run as fast as my fat little legs could go without causing a heart attack.

I actually pushed people out of my way, and I think I trampled a small child. Think Rogue elephant in a pink sweatshirt.


But I got to the tiny commuter plane, squeezed my ass into a seat clearly built for anorexics, and tried to catch my breath.

Wait a minute. My bag doesn’t have my flight info on it. How will they know where to take it?

So I uncorked from the seat, asked the pimply flight attendant who sent me back to the gatekeeper.

Back over the icy, narrow gangplank, down an slippery ramp, I gaze into the face of “No Fucks Given Here.”

No, my bag won’t be transferred. No, I don’t have time to get it.  Get someone to give a fuck in Albuquerque.

Okay, I thought, squeezing across the rickety gangplank, I’ve managed worse.  I can do this. If all else fails, I show up at the workshop empty-handed and live in the same clothes for five days. No biggie.

To keep my mind from stewing, I started a wonderful book on creativity by Susan Wooldridge called Foolsgold. In it she talks about a time in her life when her father died and her marriage broke up.


By the creek just now, lost and stuck, I feel like dropping everything once again.  What’s the use?  I tell myself.  Why keep trying so hard?

Listening to the water, I watch the creek and drift with it.  I lie back in the grass with my feet in the water.    A seed-laden stem curves over my face…A bird lands above a grapevine…Floating, letting go, “out of my mind'” I begin to notice what’s around me…

Suddenly I can’t remember what’s wrong.  Clearly my life is blessed.

In Albuquerque I found someone who gave quite a few fucks. My bag arrived on the next plane.  At Budget Rental, A Scotsman named Gil drained my weariness by calling me “lassie” and singing the rental agreement with his tumbling “rrrr”s and fat, round vowels.

I drove north out of Albuquerque as dusk turned the mountains into indigo shadows.

“Hello, West,” I said, dipping my mental feet into its current.

Clearly my life is blessed.

Jewish Students at UC Riverside Fear Spike in Antisemitism Will Follow Vote to Boycott Sabra Hummus


They’re boycotting the most popular brand of hummus in the United States.

…at that bastion of higher education, University of California, Riverside.

Why on earth are they picking hummus?  Don’t they know that in the Middle East EVERYBODY eats hummus, Arabs and Jews and everybody else who eats?

Let me tell you a secret.  Anybody who knows about this, raise your hand!

A number of years ago, Lebanon tried to get an international patent on hummus.  I’m not kidding!

This caper had to go through some international court.

Meanwhile back in Israel, there is a little Arab town called Abu Ghosh.  It’s in an area where lots of Jewish and Arab communities coexist.  There are tensions that crop up when “something happens,” but in general everybody rides the same bus to go shopping in the Shuk in Jerusalem, and takes the same bus home.

Now, Abu Ghosh is famous for its delectable hummus.  I mean, it is out of this world delicious!  It’s the only hummus I eat when I’m in Israel (except for the home-made hummus at the eponymous restaurant, “Hummus.”)

So when Lebanon came up with their asinine scheme to patent hummus and prevent anyone else (read: Israelis) from making it, Abu Ghosh had a different idea: have a contest and invite various Middle East neighbors to participate, and may the best hummus win!

It was decided that each contestant would prepare a gigantic plate of their finest chickpea puree.  The judges would go around and taste, then the public, armed with pita, would devour what was left.

Abu Ghosh won.  The international court threw out the case.

And so, everyone in the Middle East still eats hummus.  Every day.  If you are under 25 and a student, or in the Army, you might eat hummus at every meal.

Gilad Shalit are nothing but hummus and pita for five years, when he was kidnapped by Hamas and kept in an underground tunnel.  He survived, but he looked very much the worse for wear when he was finally freed.

If Lebanon and Israel can agree to a hummus truce, what’s wrong with these students?  Don’t they learn history?

Apparently not.  Apparently they gobble up whatever nonsense they’re fed by the loudest and most militant factions, without checking facts or bothering to look at all the sides.  Because there aren’t just two sides in Israel/Palestine.

There are communities like Abu Ghosh that have integrated into Israeli society while keeping their own language, religion, and customs.

There are communities in Judea and Samaria (“the West Bank”) that have flourishing industries that provide thousands of jobs for Palestinians.  When Israeli employers are forced out of the West Bank, Palestinians suffer.  They lose their jobs.  Then they riot because they lost their jobs.  Way to go, boycotters!  You just did the opposite of what you said you wanted to achieve.

So if they want to boycott American made hummus, first they must think of the diverse American workforce that they would harm, just like the more than 600 Palestinians who lost their jobs after the Sodastream plant was forced to close and subsequently moved to the Negev Desert, where they now employ around 300 formerly unemployed Bedouins.

Hysteria is contagious.  Why not common sense?