It was the afternoon/evening rush hour. A line of cars waiting at a short signal. This street is always packed during this time. As I walked by, I heard one car honking a very long honk. It’s when you hold your hand down on the horn and not let up. It’s shorthand for extremely angry/agitated.
I wondered who could be so angry (or possibly deaf or dead at the wheel) when there was simply a line of cars and I saw no accidents or anyone hurt anywhere. Where was that honk coming from?
An elderly lady in her silver car.
Complete with handicap tag, she was waiting in line behind a red car with two younger women. She partially opened her door, pulled her cane out, and started banging on her door to get the red car’s attention. She also started yelling obscenities at them. I was amazed that an old lady could be so grumpy, so mean, so ugly. She wasn’t in an accident. I think maybe the red car pulled out in front of her in the line of cars inching toward the intersection.
The women in the red car were distressed. I didn’t want to stand around and watch this ugliness from the old lady. I felt sorry for her because I knew what it was like to get really mad for other people’s driving, especially in Los Angeles.
But that degree of ugly made me think of an episode of “The Mind of a Chef” where a NYC chef said it was hard for her to love people of poor character.
It’s easy to not love people of poor character. Not hard at all.
It does take a miracle to love people of poor character. And we need lots of those on a daily basis.
I can’t write about anything else except Houston, Texas, and how the city has endured the near-biblical proportions of flood water by Hurricane Harvey.
I’ve got friends and family down there and was watching things happen in almost real-time via Facebook and live stream of the local news. Each pic posted of rising water, an evacuation, or the weather forecast made me cry deeper tears. My body was in LA, but my mind and heart was in Houston.
As other people were oblivious or not caring as much due to not having a personal connection to the town made me angry. How can you post about your random thought, a stupid judgmental tweet, or blabber on about your career goals? It seemed so heartless. Even worse were those who were criticizing whatever about the response from afar. I realize haters just hate.
But I had to take a breath and take a step back. How invested was I when other natural disasters hit the country or in other parts of the world? It was easy to judge, not easy to let it go.
I have many other thoughts about this, but will stop or else it’ll get ugly. A friend who is also a Houston local and graphic designer has these t-shirts for sale. All proceeds go toward relief efforts set up by the city mayor.
There are two people I follow on Instagram that are both British middle-aged men in the creative arts. One is an actor, one is a cinematographer/filmmaker. I really like their work and therefore it seemed logical to follow them on IG.
Of course, this makes it possible to learn things about them that are not related to their profession. I’ve discovered that these two, who probably have not (but possibly have) met each other, are both deeply devoted cat lovers.
Many of their IG stories and posts have cats in them. Images of their own cats or shelter cats, but they are definitively cat men, which I find amusing but more baffling. I guess it really makes me think if dogs are man’s best friend.
This could be a great reason for these two to meet, to talk about their cats. Which sounds utterly boring to me, but would be a paradise for them.
I still do not like cats.
Recently I’ve been in a bad mood, being crabby, grouchy, whiny, pouty, sullen. It’s not an unfamiliar place, but I don’t like being in that place as much as I used to. Mostly because I’ve experienced joy and happiness and I like those feelings more, even if those feelings don’t always last as long as the others.
A friend who is quite busy these days took a few minutes to tell me about gratitude. Gratitude does change things. It changes your focus from the few bad things to the many good things. And even if it’s more bad than good, focusing on the good keeps your mind from the gutter and thinking the worst, when the worst hasn’t happened or may not happen at all. It’s entirely possible that the very best could happen.
The situation doesn’t change, but the perspective and mindset changes. And if you think, therefore you are.
Take a shower after weeding a garden, even if you don’t sweat or get dirty. Because weeds have pollen and will make your evening not as fun.
Really don’t go to a restaurant that has less than a few hundred reviews, because you don’t know what you’re going to get, even if those 100+ reviews give 4.5 stars. It’s a crapshoot.
Put together an instrumental song in Garageband using only loops. I didn’t play any of the instruments. How strange to make music without playing an instrument.
It’s basically the same stuff on YouTube but just the music.
I don’t like cats. Well, not true. I like cats only when they’re behaved and spayed/neutered. Any other cat, I hate. HATE. Apologies to any cat-loving readers; I hope we can still be friends.
There’s no reason to hate unless there’s a reason to hate. I have a reason to hate.
I have an outdoor furnishing with cushions. Cushions with covers I recently washed. I’ve barely had a chance to sit on my clean cushions when one day I found a spot with a bunch of cat hair. I know the cat too. An old outdoor cat that loses clumps of fur. In addition to cat fur left on my cushion were some stains and dirt. This leads me to think the cat has open sores or something. I spot cleaned the cushion and tried to spray some essential oils and put some garlic cloves on the seats. Why did I do such a weird thing? A search for “cat deterrent” made for weird decisions. And stupid because it didn’t work. Well, the garlic actually worked, but only partially. The cat just sat on the cushion where there was no garlic.
This morning left a new spot of fur but what’s this? A couple spots of blood? GROSS. So this old cat probably has open sores, bleeds, and sheds clumps of fur. Obviously an old, probably dying cat. I don’t care if it’s dying if it leaves stains on my clean cushions. No compassion for this cat.
Which led me to my own solution for a cat deterrent, no dumb homemade sprays or expensive store version needed. I know it’ll work because it uses common sense. It’s better than garlic. And I’ll know tomorrow if I need to wash my cushions again or not.
I remember watching the commercials for OxiClean when Billy Mays was still alive. The product, like any infomercial product, seemed to be a miracle product. It was magical. Billy could make you buy it, but I didn’t buy it because I didn’t have a need for it.
Then, one day, I had a need for it. Researching how to clean tile without toxic chemicals led me to OxiClean, not dirty laundry. And it was now available at your local store. So I got me some and found out it was exactly the miracle product it was advertised to be. It wasn’t perfect, but it definitely cleans well. Very well. And, it’s non-toxic, which is very important to me.
And then I decided to try it with laundry. It’s used in addition to detergent to make colors more vibrant. And I was surprised to see that, again, it worked well! I noticed that colors seemed to be less washed-out looking and appeared more fresh. Even a little detail, a white tag on a dark jacket, popped out with a whiter white than I thought possible. I’ve now become a convert and wished I had a reason to listen to Billy Mays sooner than later.
RIP Billy Mays. And thank you for telling me about OxiClean.
Just FYI, my third poetry book is available for free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
Paperback also available too.
It’s the shortest of the three books.