💯 Things I❤️About Montreal…

Bonjour Mes Ami! (French spell check app not working)

As some of you astute, eagle eyed Readers discovered, my July adventure found me in none other than the Exquisite Jewel of a Neighbor north of us Montreal, Canada!

My raison d’etre or reason for traveling in the heat wave of 2018 to this glorious, heaven on earth, 6 hours from NY, respite from twitterization of the US government ( did I say that…please don’t detain me at the Border …. City can be summed up in one word :JAZZ!

However, Little did this starry eyed music seeking, Foodie searching, Adventurer know that she would discover some of the world’s finest jazz and so, so much more!

Five days was hardly enough time to capture the richness and beautifulness (not a word) of this gentle, world class, forward thinking/acting home to champions of all men/women!

Lest, I start sounding like a commercial, I will let the pictures and a few words that follow tell this Tale.

Set your pilot on automatic ( Flyboy, Welcome Home And Thank You for Your Service!) and Readers enjoy the ride.

As always, feel free to comment/share/ click follow/ send cash…hell iola, I’m broke now!

(Note: This post will continue over a few weeks of the summer until I have posted all the 💯 reasons. My use of The French language is gratuitous and in no way reflects on the  years of study at Jacox  Jr High; Maury High, Los Angeles City College and Big Blue ODU.

Dang, all that and she still can’t hold a conversation beyond bonjour, merci, Bien, Bon! Mais oui, Voulez vous…What Patti LaBelle sang…

The Adventure Continues…

Reader, I know you are probably growing weary of these teasers.  Here are some visuals that hopefully will keep you entertained until I am back at my Computer.

Day 3….Hmm is that a French pastry and espresso….from a foreign land or right down the street? And what does that dress say…au revoir…translation app, please… Lawdy,What is she up to this time?

Stay tuned Summer Adventure Blog is a mere 5 days away. In the meantime enjoy your illegal fireworks!

Liberal Lin is on the move seeking yet another Adventure…a girlfriends’ trip to a foreign land? Backpacking through the mountains? Frolicking on a white sandy beach? Cruising on an Italian yacht? Stay tuned…and as always thanks for the Journey! Happy born day Cancers!

I Refuse to Be Lonely or

Mantra of a Single Boomer

Packing for a girl’s trip.  No, not inspired by the movie last year.  We enlightened- girls-just- wanna- have- fun Boomers have been taking these trips for years.  Just haven’t had the connections to turn it into a million dollar movie… Gurl, don’t hate …participate.

The trip is 2 months out so packing actually means sticking mini post it tabs ( meant for readers of books) on the hangers of clothes I plan to take.  This way I can periodically check the inventory and delete or add as the big day nears. Thus, ensuring that my I only travel with one carryon bag motto is enforced.  I don’t know if I read about this in one of those Boomer how to simplify your life AARP articles (as if being a Boomer could be anything other than simple…is that a conundrum?) or if I dreamed about it. But so far it seems to be working. If the weather changes or my itinerary improves….Did that automated message from Amtrak say that there have been schedule changes for your trip

I digress.

This post is Really about what to do when you are living Single and want to avoid some of the pitfalls Big Brother/Society/The Man/World/ place in your path.

First, do not ever buy clothes that fasten with a hook and eye.  Those of you who sew will recognize this term. Its from back in the day and has made it way onto the 2018 runway.   For the uniformed, I have posted a picture below.  No matter how cute, how discounted, how many times it beckons to you from the H&M hanger.  Do not, I, repeat, take it home. Remember that perky salesperson will not be waiting in Your closet to help you button the damn thing up. Face it, there are just some clothes a single person can’t wear…and this is one of them.

Next, read a book or watch a video on how to perform self Heimlich maneuver.  Try it out beforehand on several sturdy door frames preferably near the kitchen.  This is important because when you are scarfing down those yummy cheesy grits in the insomniac hour and start to gag, you will need to have this procedure for saving Your life down pact. Trust me, that’s why I’m Still Here. Forget about falling in the bathtub…those silver guard rails will protect you from that. But choking on your carefully prepared cuisine… well, check the morgue.

Lastly, invest in a good aluminum baseball bat.  Or maybe its titanium.  One of those man made metals that replaced the good ol’ fashioned wooden bat.  These can be found in any sports department and next to pepper spray (requires you to get too close to the intruder/and to periodically check the expiration date…did that say 2011…) Wasp spray, (effective but a little unwieldly and may be empty if you are a patio lover), are a Single person’s best friend. That chi chi little Shiz Tsu, can only bark and rarely bites. So this bat will make the intruder think you auditioned for the movie Breaking In…shout out to Being Mary Jane.

Now where did I put that inflatable man…oops pillow?

Love and light.  Comments are free and always 🙏🏿

Looking into the Abyss OR the Pleasure Dome

(Memoir/Fiction)
60 is a very pivotal age for the Baby Boomer. Ten years apres finding that First AARP in the mailbox… the lilting ring of I’m 50 something replaced by the thudding sound of Yeah Man, I’m 60. The reality that there are more days behind you than ahead… and depending on your world view… this could be the beginning of staring into the Abyss or racing into the Pleasure Dome. After all, we were the generation that was going to change the world…baby if I cooould channnge the world…Remember.


So here I am almost sixty (technically I am still fifty-nine) but when the ball drops next month I will be throwing rocks as they say, at sixty so why not claim it now…it will lessen the shock…and make it easier to mouth the words when some Uncoth type asks me my age. Not that I have any problem telling them…but why is it really important? Does it tell them Anything really relevant about who I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done, and more importantly what I am about to do. Like leave this establishment as soon as I finish this drink because this conversation is boring me to thoughts of suicide or better yet homicide…His.
When did I become so impatient with men…people in general…but especially men in my age bracket…knowing what they are about to say before they engage their brains and let their mouths belie their intelligence. Able to spot an Old Playa from across the room or right up in my face whispering that I should remember his phone number without bothering to ask mine.
I think most Boomer women would appreciate it more if men just knew how to graciously accept their age and flow with it. This obsessing over younger women who see nothing but dollar signs when they look at them and the constant need to put down the women who really are in their age category has made many of my sisters declare that the war is over.

I should be stickaforkinme done but every now and then I allow myself to traverse down that road. Often because of an unexpected gift- a smile- given to a Stranger as I am leaving say… a business mixer.
He said his name was L and the smile on my face made him think I was up to something. I was. Trying to get home after two drinks of Grey Goose from a friendly bartender at the first stop followed by another less generous pour at this place. The silly grin was, I admit, Goose induced and He just happened to open the door as I was trying to gracefully ease out of the place.

     After depositing my distinctive blue business card in his hand and declining to remember his whispered digits, I found myself mildly entertaining thoughts of his phone call and what might ensue. He was charming enough and had the balls to approach me so I was intrigued.
     And then reality set in as day three or four since our encounter and no phone call. I put thoughts of him out with the smelly trash and immersed myself in grading yet another freshman essay about the horrors of abortion, war and gun control.
And then he called – very formal tone- as if he wasn’t sure I would answer. The conversation was brief. He was on his way to have his car inspected and I guess thought he would ring me up on the way. Not too impressive I thought for a first call since I seemed to be part of his errands for that day. And when he abruptly arrived at his destination the call ended and his promise to return the call shortly did not materialize for another 24 hours.
This time it was at my insomniac hour. I guess he didn’t believe I would really be awake but unfortunately for him I was already engaged on the phone with a close friend and ironically at the moment he called was sharing something about Him with her. I told him I would call him back which I did some two or three hours later… all is fair in love and war…and got his voicemail.
      The phone remained silent for the rest of the day and finally later that evening over sushi and a second glass of wine in a new spot downtown, I did break down and call him as he had suggested just to see what his reason was for ignoring me. Yet another voicemail that signaled he was otherwise engaged. This is going nowhere fast and time to pull the ripcord.  So I decide I will not entertain this nonsense any longer because those freshman essays are still piled on my living room floor ungraded.

.
Friday rolls around and I decide to treat myself to some seafood in the form of Cioppino which usually is reserved for holidays or special occasions since the ingredients are so costly…shrimp, clams, mussels, cod, halibut, salmon, lots of garlic, tomatoes and of course white wine…but I tire of reserving things for special occasions.

     I trek to Whole Paycheck and purchase the necessary ingredients together with those for Muffaletta, a shamefully greasy salmon /spicy ham/three kinds of cheese and a slathering of olive salad on French bread kind of sandwich that has become my latest passion.
     Armed with these pricey ingredients and a bright yellow blast of daisies, I surrender to the peaceful hum of my kitchen and prepare the succulent seafood stew when the phone rings and surprise, surprise…It is none other than elusive stranger. I decide to just slice through the small talk when he tells me he is on his way to a Sushi joint near my hood. And announce that I am making the best seafood dish ever and invite him over to sample my cooking.

     Within minutes he appears at my front door, not as dashing as I remember from the dim lights of the club doorway but congenial enough and anxious to see if I can really cook. Since he appeared without so much as a bottle of wine, I offered him some  Sauvignon that I was using in the stew.
The conversation was pleasant, informational, non threatening as I put the finishing touches on my shellfish feast. He had never had Cioppino and as I instructed him how to sop up the broth with the Italian bread, I could see the pleasure spread across his face… that look which tells the cook he has eaten something truly divine.

     Before I had a chance to offer him some fruit and cheese for desert –organic pears and buttery smooth Havarti- He announced caveman style that he had other plans for the evening and had to get home and prepare himself.
    I smiled sweetly to cover up my agitation. A smart guy would never have been this rude and a young guy would have been anxious to see what was for dessert. Schmuck!
Now I could really see him for what he was…an old has been who needed a good hearing aid instead of that earring in his ear. Who fancied himself a Playa when Senior Citizen more accurately described him. I quickly closed the door on both the cold winter night and him. (Note: This is My Version of Fiction. Your Comments Appreciated!)

IMG_0094

 

Talking About a Revolution 

IMG_0094Don’t you know
They’re talking about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper…
While they’re standing in the Welfare lines/
Crying at the footsteps of those armies of salvation/
Wasting time in unemployment lines/
Sitting around waiting for a promotion/
Poor people gonna rise up/
And get their share.
c1982. SBK/purple rabbit music

Many folks think that we have come a long ways Baby and that the circumstances of America’s poor, disenfranchised, Not the talented 10th (or the Well heeled 10%) has improved since Tracy Chapman penned this song in the 80s.

I wonder.

Having been a card carrying member of the Movement during the 70s, And a poor person (I was a college student in Los Angeles working 3 part-time jobs, an unwed mother (now pc term Single Mom), a culture seeking, I love My People sistah who volunteered many wee hours growing food, cooking stew , sewing dashikis, teaching reading, tutoring and Workin’ for the People of Watts.

Often in the company of members of the Real Black Panther Party who were laser sharp serious about feeding hungry children in the city of the Angels only a stone’s throw from Holly weird, Shoppers- paradise-Rodeo Drive and right up the road from the Happiest place on earth.

Is it possible that things really do change while remaining the same?

Fast forward to 2016 and the country is immersed in holiday cheer, spending $ like water for a day that is supposed to honor a King/healer/leader/ Teacher and not an obese man in a redsuit.

Uh uh, here she go humbugging Christmas.

Readers, Like many of you, I luv the holidays and all the lights and carols and decorations and eggnog and gift giving/receiving and baking and hosting and TV specials and excitement on the faces of little ones opening their gifts on Christmas eve…

Remember I’m a Boomer and grew up in a Black household modeled after Leave it to Beaver, Father knows Best, and My3Sons. We DID Christmas thoroughly and enjoyed it.

But that does not mean we and America get to take a pass just because it’s the Holidays and the cofers of capitalism need replenishing.

And before you think it..I’m not talking about the seasonal well meaning middle class gestures of throwing some loose change (do they take debit cards now) in the armies of salvation kettles, or buying a pair of socks for the angel tree.

Hunger, Virginia is a 24/7 proposition. Being poor for too many children is a lifestyle handed down from previous generations and like crack, it’s hard to break the cycle.

Like Dredlocked wearing, folk song singing, visionary Tracy Chapman says…
Oh you better run/run/run//run/run …talkin’ bout a Revolution.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good nite!

B IS FOR BABY BOOMER

 

What happened?  One minute she’s turning out Blogs like a well oiled machine and then BAM! Nothing! Silence where there used to be laughter, songs, shared experiences, reminiscing, poetry, etc. etc. etc.

Such is the nature of a Writer; the ebb and flow of life sometimes takes us away from the Words and then brings us haltingly back again.

I won’t bore you with the details of my absence from these pages except to say Life happened.  And when you are 60+ (as many of you fellow Boomers can attest to) it can be challenging.  No one prepares you to be a Senior…there is no course you can take…(sorry AARP)…it just seems you wake up one day and nature has started taking its course.  And the best laid plans are just that… Plans.

Like working in the dirt (gardening), writing had become my antidote to no longer being a 9 to 5er.  But as with so many endeavors, we often need to pause, step back, take a break and regroup.  And that is what I have been doing.

 Boy, she is the master of roundaboutthebush!  Still aint said WHAT she being doing all these months!

I have been buoyed by those of you who have missed my Words and inquired about when/if I would return to blogging.  And to those of you who have signed on to follow me during the period of my absence, I apologize.

I will say during my absence from the page, I have been musing pretty heavily about what it means to be a Senior.  I moved from my urban townhouse/garden to a Senior community this year and have some real serious questions about whether people of the same age should all be thrown into one living environment.  I will write more about this in the coming months ( a la the horrible, no good Vegas trip Blog) as I consider whether to renew my lease at “The Villa”.  For those of you who saw the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold  Hotel (I and II) and left the theater fantasizing about living with other Boomers…remember that was a movie AND they were in  India (or a Hollywood set).

Health issues, mine and others (family/friends) have found their way into my sphere.  I have watched on the sidelines the past few years as others have succumbed to ravages of age and now it seems it is my turn to dip my toes in this pool.  It certainly does give one pause and challenge those of us who have always been strong of mind, spirit and body.

Changing relationships with parents/siblings/peers/significant others seem to be a hallmark of becoming a Senior.  Again, No one prepares you for this…it just happens it seems and can be daunting to say the least…somewhere between the muck and the mire, I would say.

And of course, the usual concern of the nolongeremployed.  What am I going to do today? Tomorrow?  Many Boomers are so obsessed with doingsomething that they forget they are supposed to enjoy their retirement. Does that include the whopping $5 increase in SS benefits?

Yeah, I have those moments sometimes, but I also have no guilt about spending an entire day binge watching House of Cards, Catfish, All the seasons of Dowtown  Abbey, Love and Hip Hop (New York and Hollywood), Being Mary Jane(future research)…in my pjs surrounded by my snacks of choice. Thank goodness for the Senior discount at Harris Teeter, Kroger,Walgreen..unfortunately the ABC store hasn’t figured out we are one of their most consuming consumers).Now if I can just remember which day they give the damn discount…(must be a test of our fleeting memory).

Many thoughts to share with you in the coming months.  I hope you will once again join me for the Ride! And Thanks for Reading…I’ve missed you!