Posts Tagged ‘Lydia’

One of the things the Daughter knows about me is that I’m far less likely to get irritated by something I see if I’ve been given fair warning. So one consecutive days in November, she called me at the office after she got home from school.

The first time was to tell me that there was yellow, crime-scene tape running from our neighbor’s porch to ours, blocking the walkway between the two residences. And why was this? Because contractors, in the process of fixing their roof, had thrown down the old roofing material from that roof to said walkway.

And did the absentee landlord bother to let us know that this was going to happening? He did not. The only warning was the load of materials sitting on their lawn for about a week earlier.

The second time the Daughter called me was to tell me that the tape was gone, as was some of the debris, but that there was a Dumpster parked, partially on the neighbor’s lawn but mostly on ours, blocking, yet again, the walkway.

This meant, again, walking my bike through the house to the shed in the back yard.

By the time I had gotten home, my wife explained to the contractors where the property line was. (But did they REALLY think the neighbor’s property line extended to the porch railing of OUR house?)

In any case, the Dumpster left the next day, only to return the following day. At least it was entirely off our property. And there it stayed for weeks, as a cold snap scuttled their plans to work on the roof. It looked atrocious out there, this orange behemoth, but what is there to do?

I suggested, jokingly – I THINK it as jokingly – that we should chuck our garbage in their Dumpster. Of course I didn’t.

Still, I’m glad The Daughter gave me the heads-up, twice, regarding our insensitive neighbor.

The Daughter and I are alike in many ways. One of the way we are not is in the approach to homework.

When I had it, I tried to get it done as soon as possible, lest it hang over my head. Her attitude is more… relaxed.

Back on November 9, I asked her if she had any homework over the three-day Veterans Day holiday, but she gave me a rather enigmatic answer. It was HER homework, after all, so I was not going to worry about it.

Still, on Friday the 10th, I asked her again. This time, she said, “The marking period ends today.” And do you have homework? “Yes, social studies.”

Well, how was she going to get this assignment done THAT DAY, when there was no school? Why, she could send it via Google docs. So at 3 p.m., she starts answering four questions, about Reconstruction after the Civil War, robber barons of the second half of the 19th century, and a couple other topics.

She completed the assignments. “There, an hour and a half and I’m done.”

I should note that at least one of these pieces was given out back when she was ill the second week in October, and I know she had started working on it when she got back to school the following week. But it was only the impending end of the marking period that motivated her to actually FINISH the task.

It is very easy for a person to project him- or herself in a situation and say, “If it were me, I’d have been a nervous wreck.” But that’s the point; she isn’t me.

And she isn’t her mother either who, less often these days than before, would preach the value of having the homework put away the night before in the proper place. I’d be my inclination, too.

As I’ve indicated, in this matter, she is VERY much her own person.

Our family has developed a ritual of turning on CBS News This Morning to watch the 7 a.m. “eye-opener.” The morning of Tuesday, November 21, the Daughter noticed that Charlie Rose, co-anchor of the program wasn’t on, which wasn’t that odd.

What WAS unusual was the fact that in that segment of “your world in 90 seconds,” Charlie Rose DID appear. He had been suspended by CBS News the night before over sexual misconduct, as reported in the Washington Post, part of a string of men caught up recently. A reporter laid out the case, and then the other co-hosts, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King, forcefully showed their disdain and shock.

And while she hadn’t said anything at the time, I could see the Daughter was confused and disappointed. I’ll admit I was, and that went for my wife as well. What I didn’t know at the time was that, a couple years prior, she’d written some report for school about the now-75-year-old anchor and contributor on 60 Minutes.

It’s that weird thing about how you begin to feel about people when you metaphorically let them into your home. You get a sense that you know a person. Heck, Norah and especially Gayle had expressed shock at the allegations, and they worked with the man for five years.

The initial allegations concerned his show put together by his production company, and airing on PBS and Bloomburg, prior to 2011. By the time he was fired, less than a day later, the accusations also included more recent events, including at CBS.

Of course, you DON’T know the people you see on TV or listen to on the radio. What I thought I knew about O.J. Simpson and especially Bill Cosby made their falls from grace much more difficult to comprehend.

We all discover that our heroes sometimes have feet of clay, and that’s an uncomfortable part of the learning process. It sucks, no matter at what age it happens.

As I have mentioned, the Daughter is really into the music of Weird Al Yankovic. She asks me questions about who did the originals of his parody songs. I’m pretty good with the pop/rock stuff, not so hot with the rap sourced items.

One exception is Amish Paradise, one of our favorite Weird Al songs, which I know came from the Coolio song Gangsta’s Paradise, featuring singer L.V. But truth is that I am only aware of that because it’s a reworking of Pastime Paradise, a song on the first side of the epic, Grammy-winning 1976 LP Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder.

A couple days later, the Daughter asked if Al gets permission to use other people’s songs, and I said that he did. But by this point, she knew of the Coolio/Weird Al feud. “Coolio claimed that he did not give permission for the parody… Yankovic claimed that he had been told Coolio had given the go-ahead through his record label and apologized.” Coolio too has since apologized for allowing his ego to get in the way.

For a while, the Daughter would play the three songs back-to-back. But eventually, she really glommed to the Stevie original, playing it a few times every day. I think it is the rhyme:

Race relations
Confirmation, to the evils of the world

Of race relations
Of revelations
World salvation
Confirmation, to the peace of the world

I always liked it, but her affection for the song has enhanced my enjoyment of it.

Listen to:

Pastime Paradise – Stevie Wonder (1976) here or here
Pastime Paradise – Ray Barretto (1981) here or here
Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio, featuring L.V., #1 for three weeks on the Billboard pop charts (1995) here or here
Amish Paradise -Weird Al Yankovic, #53 (1996) here or here
Pastime Paradise – Patti Smith (2007) here or here

Chuck, Heather, Fran, this blogger. (c)2017 Chuck Miller

Early in October, my wife slipped on some stairs, getting a nasty bruise on her hip . It turns out there was moss growing on the top step. We would have probably sued the property owners, except they were us.

Yeah, we replaced our front steps when we redid that porch. But the back steps are in dire need of repair, something that might have made this year’s list of things to do until the boiler conked out.

The Daughter missed three days of school in September, until we found medicine that could help her with what ailed her. When she got ill the week of Columbus Day, I was home with her and called her primary physician’s office.

The person, not the doctor, who treated her last time said I COULD bring her in again. But her lungs were clear last time, so she wasn’t sure what they could do for her. She expressed ta theory she was stressed about homework; well, she wasn’t before she got sick again, though she sure is now.

More than being irritated, I’m frustrated that I don’t know what to do for my child. My wife took her to the allergist the next day, who tested at 25 – 25 what, I don’t know, but it was extremely low. The allergist gave her a combination of meds the primary’s office told her not to take together. A week later, her breathing score was 100, which is good.

I’m just tired. Stayed up talking to an old friend until after midnight one day, and the next met with some Times Union current and former bloggers, then worked on the Albany Public Library Foundation’s gala for some hours, planning Black History Month at church, extra choir rehearsals for our Randall Thompson performance, et cetera, et cetera,, et cetera.

I have probably more topics I want to write about but don’t have the time than any point in this blogging. Writing relaxes. Not writing gets my subconscious mind working in overdrive.

I WILL have days off on Election Day and the day before Veterans Day. Any port in the storm.

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