•  Donald Trump: fake president, real prick.  Donald Trump: no leader of the free world, but the world’s cheerleader for vile remarks.  Donald Trump: vainglorious minus the glory.

•  I keep thinking I’ll get Donald Trump out of my system, but he lingers on like a bad case of pinworms.  Not that I’ve had pinworms, but you come up with a better analogy.

•  My wife is furiously typing on her laptop, and she turns to me and asks how one spells unaesthetic.  My reply was, can you just say ugly?

•  My 80/80 Facebook Rule: Even taking into account the 80% of things that one decides  it is better not to comment on, 80% of what remains is still better not to comment on.

•  And the remarks I decide not to post on Facebook?  80% of them wind up in this blog.

•  My spouse often asks me to “dust the tops of things” before company arrives.  I cannot recall a time when I was asked to dust the bottoms of things.  So when you visit our place, please don’t look there.

•  It is my firm belief — maybe even extra-firm — that pillowcases have been designed for planned obsolescence, and zippers are the weak link.   The only reasons I have ever thrown out a pillowcase are because the zipper tab falls off or the zipper gets stuck or breaks down somewhere along its short pillowy highway.  Are zippers made by Chrysler?

•  Speaking of planned obsolescence, what is it about supermarket raspberries?  Once you bring them home, you have (at most) 36 hours to eat them before they start getting moldy, even when refrigerated.  I suspect that someone at the berry packaging plant is responsible for spraying spores on them prior to shipment.

• pork rinds I went to the Southern States farm supply store last week to buy some bird seed.  (They have great prices on safflower seed, a cleaner and cheaper alternative to sunflower seed).  Waiting at the checkout, I saw these pork rinds.  Not just any old pork rinds but microwave pork rinds.  The feeling crept over me that I was out of my element here.

•  I was saddened by the senseless assassination of NYPD officer Miosotis Familia.  Her yet-another wanton and random death was not a carefully-thought-out act of some evil, affluent, philosophical mastermind, but instead the pressure-cooked product of poverty, alienation, neglect, a cacaphony of messages, guns sloshing around like oxycodone, and a culture of untethered survival that most of us don’t even begin to understand.

•  Those of you who would prefer that thoughts expressed here would be happy thoughts: there are times for escape and times for engagement.  Thanks for reading.

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When I get to Heaven…

… God will let me spend as much time in the bathroom as I want without asking me whether everything’s OK in there.

… I will finally have time to read War and Peace and (because this is Heaven) I will have perfect recall for all the Russian names and characters.

… God will say, “You want Russian literature, why not start with The Brothers Karamazov.  Just a thought.”  I will reply, thanks, but I need a really long book to read while I’m in the bathroom.  And God will just roll her eyes.

… I won’t need to learn how to use my wings because Heaven will have self-driving clouds.

… I will never have to go to a hospital emergency room for routine medical problems, because God established universal health care in Heaven several centuries ago.

… Plums will be available year-round and they will be the sweet, juicy Santa Rosa variety.  God will appoint me to throw all the hard and flavorless plums over the side of the cloud, so that supermarkets on Earth will have something to sell to the poor slobs down there.

… Fox News will be blacked out on Heaven TV, because you can’t spread lies in Heaven.

… I will never have to drink day-old coffee again.  Actually, I don’t drink day-old coffee right now, here on Earth.  So I guess that’s a tie.

… I wll be able to have sex with anyone I want, as long as it’s my wife.  (Another tie.)

… Christopher Hitchens will come up to me and ask, “What are you doing here?”

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There are few people in the world who are not aware of this year’s total eclipse, as it affects not only the United States but nearly every square inch of the planet.  For those who have not yet been informed — this would include Fox News viewers — I offer a brief rundown.

The phenomenon at hand is unlike any other eclipse most of us have experienced.  There are lunar eclipses, which take place when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, and there are solar eclipses, which occur when the moon passes between us and the sun.  This eclipse, however, is caused by a massive body whose hovering presence over Earth casts a planet-wide shadow — the astronomers I know call it The Total Eclipse of Trump.*

The Total Eclipse of Trump started in November 2016.  Astronomers cannot predict when it will end.  Its path of totality over the face of the Earth is shown in the illustration below:

Unlike lunar and solar eclipses, the Trump shadow traverses the surface of the planet several times a week.  Its path of totality — the locations where one’s sense of reality is completely obliterated — wanders from day to day, according to well-known laws of physics and the unknown whims of Trump.

As shown in the illustration above, the Trump shadow touches every continent and almost every land mass, save for the islands of Madagascar (off the coast of Africa) and Svalbard (in the Arctic Circle, north of Norway).  And even those remote isles are now threatened by sea ice and rising tides, thanks to the Eclipse.

The Total Eclipse of Trump has not only darkened our skies (and everything else), it has redefined normalcy.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that the  Eclipse will improve our health, once it causes the health insurance system to implode. The U.S. Department of the Interior threatens harm to the economy of any state whose Senator strays from the shadow of the Eclipse.  And the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says… well, it no longer says (or protects) anything.

How best to view the Eclipse?  As a hopefully-momentary aberration in the human project to become more humane.  Astronomers suggest that you try to ignore the Eclipse, go about your lives, and treat one other as if its oppressive shadow did not exist.  Most importantly, people should avoid staring at the Eclipse.  The Total Eclipse of Trump draws its energy from the spectacle it creates — the more we watch, the longer it persists.  Those who look at the Eclipse with uncritical eyes are in danger of becoming blinded to it.


* Unfortunately, I do not know any astronomers.  So I had to make something up.
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