Where in the World is Oprah Winfrey?

This has been on my mind for a long time.

As the political nightmare awash in this country continues to unfold in its hideous way, celebrities as well as politicians continue to come out of the woodwork for one side or the other and offer their thoughts.

One woman, who has been well known to sponsor good causes for the benefit of humanity and equality, has been absent from this scene.

Where in the world is Oprah Winfrey?

I must admit that I keep thinking that she is in the background, waiting for the right moment to enter the fray, offer her thoughts, and help us with the scandalous and frightening situation that I believe was gotten illegally by the person currently in office, ‘he who shall not be named.’

That woman has power and I am sure she is well aware of it. Perhaps that is why she is waiting for the proper moment to strike.

As events seem to spiral from bad to worse, I continue to worry. Germany in 1939 looks so similar. Events keep piling up and documents are signed, and our supposed leader is doing things that continue to deflect our eyes from what we should be watching, as little by little he is removing the liberties and gains in equality for all that have been worked for so hard and even paid with blood by so many.

Although the events have brought many of us together, I cannot help but notice that our minorities are running scared, and with good reason, and they are starting to doubt the fact that any white people can have good intentions or others’ welfare in mind. We are privileged whites and we have no clue what it is to be like otherwise.

Something good needs to happen.

Oprah, please help. You alone cannot do it but together we can work toward progress, not loss of liberty.

Posted in Hatred, Life in general, Patriotism, Politics, Racism, The Holocaust, The Past, The Scandal of the 2016 Presidential Elections, Thoughts and philosophy, Tolerance, Unfairness | Leave a comment

Painting walls

I spent several days painting in Highland Park. It was an arrangement of sorts, bartering abilities, perhaps. Although my oldest son is a good painter, I think that he enjoys it less than I do and besides, he had many other things to attend to in an almost 100 year old house that need his attention before that. I have no desire to add on to my bookshelves myself (I built them in in the 80s) and he is going to finish them off (they currently go from the ledge three feet off the floor to the ceiling) so that they go all the way to the floor. We have a lot of books (quelle surprise) and this is wasted space anyway. He is far more talented than I am in this area.

The house was pretty much move in condition, although we all agreed that the main bathroom was in dire need (especially since this is a family of four and there is only one bathroom and one powder room). The bathroom was renovated and now there is the kitchen, that although workable, is less than perfect for a young family.

In any case, I think that, in our family, I still have one of the steadiest hands in painting and the ability to paint a straight line. I cannot stand to use tape, as it invariably has a leakage factor that angers me when I pull it off and see that the straight line is muddled. I therefore arm myself with good brushes and several tiny brushes, suitable for oil painting that I use to accomplish my task.

The smallest bedroom, inhabited by the youngest in the household, was the least prepared for habitation. There was not a lot of preparation needed so we got the pretty shade of blue paint and set to work. It was a fast drying paint, which is a double-edged sword paint, in my estimate. It gets sticky so fast as it dries that it is almost difficult to work with. It took a while for me to get my painting mojo, but in the end, the room looks amazing, if I do say so myself.

We got the white paint for the woodwork and I proceeded to paint both doors (one heads to the attic) and part of the doorframes. I also did the piece of molding around the ceiling.

I think that Kelsey will like this. She was with her mom and sister in Michigan over the weekend while we did the job (Christian jumped in more than once, in between moments of work on his fireplace mantel redo). I am happy that Kelsey will have a sparkling clean room with no spots of missing paint or evidence of previously sloppy work.

Posted in Life in general, Painting, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Pleased by ‘Preview’ – ‘Trevor the musical

It was a sad but joyous moment.

Before going to see the ‘Preview’ of the play ‘Trevor the Musical,’ MK and I took a gander at the short film, a 1994 Academy Award winner: ‘Trevor, a dramedy.’ It is the story of a 1980s thirteen-year-old boy coming to grips with his sexuality. In 1998, the film was scheduled to be shown on HBO and the filmmakers thought it might be a good idea to accompany the film with a support line since Trevor, in the film, had made an attempt on his life. No such help line existed and so they decided to dedicate themselves to the formation of such a resource, an organization that would promote acceptance of LGBTQ youth and support crisis and suicide prevention. God bless them for their successful efforts.

The film was amazing and sad to see. I remember the days of my youth and the horrible ways that even good kids treated each other. It is not a period that I would want to redo in my own life and it is very easy to relate to the trials and tribulations of a young man trying to find himself encountering horrible roadblocks at every corner.

The play, at Writers Theatre, is once again right on point. We found that it was very much delivering the total message found in the short film. The actors were enthusiastic and believable. The direction by Marc Bruni (he did ‘Beautiful: Carole King Musical’ on Broadway) was stellar. It is a play in two acts with an intermission. I can easily see how this play should be seen on Broadway as it has all the trappings and message for New York success.

The only area that we thought might be tightened up in the ‘Preview’ that we saw is the scene in the hospital after Trevor’s thankfully failed attempt on his life. I am guessing that they will work that out.

Not only was this a play about a young man, but it used Diana Ross and her music as a sort of guiding force and light in Trevor’s life. So not only do you have a great story that needs to be told, you also have guidance from an idol with her beautiful music to boot. It was a win/win situation.

I mentioned that it was sad and joyous. Despite the difficulties Trevor faced, he always managed to find joy in his existence as he plodded along to find his way. You could not help but revel in his passion and love for music, performance, and Diana Ross. It was so sad, however, when you see a young person who should have been experiencing the most wonderful time in his life, only to have it hampered by the narrow-mindedness and constraints of a society that has not properly evolved toward accepting each and every beautiful individual that God has created. You could feel Trevor’s pain. Good theatre, acting, and production, in my estimate. See this play before it heads to New York, you won’t regret it.

Thank you Michael Halberstam, Kate Lipuma, and the entire staff of Writers Theatre for being a special beacon of light in Chicago Theatre and Marc Bruni for a seriously great job at directing!

Posted in Culture, Equality for All, Glencoe, Life in general, Theatre, Thoughts and philosophy, Writers Theatre | Leave a comment

Dinner in Des Plaines

MK and I have had the luck to meet so many wonderful people. We meet them here and there, we meet them in Stratford, and we meet them at places where we have worked.

Thursday night found us working hard to get through a major storm that came around late afternoon. It pretty much started as we were leaving, of course, and was of a pretty serious nature. As we arrived at destination, the sun, which had been trying mightily to get through the clouds, succeeded. We took our raingear with us although, thankfully, we did not need it.

We were delivering the cow piggy bank to our friend, Lourdes. She and her husband had graciously invited us to dinner and to meet their children.

We arrived to questions as to our location for dinner, outside or inside? We opted for the ‘run if we have to’ scene and the set up was thus outside.

Angel made a flank steak sliced thin and marinated in limes. Onions were cooked whole on the grill to accompany this along with corn tortillas, corn cooked in a wheelbarrow turned into fire pit, a delicious salsa in a three-hundred year old mortar and pestle setup, fresh guacamole, chorrizo, and various types of cactus. The drink was a refreshing limeade made from fresh limes, water, and a small amount of sugar.

The company was even better than the food, if that can be believed. The conversation was animated. We were not only lucky to have a wonderful evening with Lourdes and Angel, we also had a chance to meet their daughter, Andrea, and son, Angel, who are just about set to go back to college.

We had dessert of Flan from Bravo Bakery in Mount Prospect with a delicious Folger’s French Roast coffee to top it all off.

We had a wonderful time, the weather symbolically turned out wonderful to allow for a great dining experience with new friends. Life is good!

Posted in Friends, Life in general, Oakton Community College, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Bank of Heifer

Okay, so we didn’t break it

Some time ago, MK had a cow collection and somehow acquired a cow version of a piggy bank.

The cow collection waned and the ‘piggy bank’ stayed, becoming a part of the laundry room.

When pockets are emptied, one never knows what one will find in them. They ended up going into the piggy bank.

I found hose washers among the change. Obviously, they had been in my pockets. I also found what one of the family members thinks is about $150 in change. We shall see.

Since we have a friend who collects cows and who has already received the main collection, it is time for Bessie the cow bank to move on. I am hoping that Lourdes will ‘heifer,’ I mean, have her. That was a decidedly bad teacher joke, but I could not help myself.

Tonight Bessie is moving and I am guessing that we shall have to find a mason jar to replace her but it has been a great run. I don’t think we shall go so long without cashing in!

Posted in Friends, Life in general, Oakton Community College, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment