Thursday, August 28, 2014
     

Autumn begins one month from now and I can't wait.

For me, it's all about the "F" words foliage, football and flea markets.

Truth is, I really don't mind leaving summer behind. Summer isn't special to me.

But fall brings the weather, sports and activity I relish.

Years ago, there was a lighthearted tune that encouraged us to head for the hills or go swimming because "It's summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime."

People rush to the shore in droves. But leave me out of it.

I've never been into shore worship, suntans or ocean culture.

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Claire:

Once upon a time, watching television was for Philistines. The uncultured masses would tune in to watch the latest sitcom every night, blissfully ignorant, while the intellectuals would sit in their ivory towers reading books, or at the very least saving their money for a subscription to a network like HBO or Showtime, where all the "artsy" television supposedly dwelled.

That's how the joke goes, anyway. These days, though, a few shows have me questioning the old adage that television is just for dummies and couch potatoes.

Jim:

Our most faithful fan does not live in Lehighton or Jim Thorpe or Tamaqua, or anywhere in the hard coal region.

No, he lives on the other side of the world. Dan Bloom is a freelance writer and ex-patriot, who resides in Taiwan where, he says, he is "buffeted around by Pacific typhoons every summer." Maybe that's why he worries a lot about climate change.

Jim:

There's an old saying: "They treat me like a mushroom. They keep me in the dark and feed me B.S." I know I'm a mushroom and hope that, at least, I may be a Portobello.

First off, there's the cosmic mystery. Where did the universe come from? If it's expanding, what is it expanding into? These questions give me butterflies in my stomach. I try hard never to think about them. I have butterflies right now. Let's change the subject.

Claire:

Writing down one's dirty secrets and posting them all over the web is de rigueur these days. It's hardly edgy or shocking to read the intimate details of a person's sex life, mental issues, or weight problems.

Heck, not too long ago a woman live-tweeted her miscarriage yup, that means she was writing about it on the Internet literally while it was happening.

JIM:

So Bradley Manning wants to be called Chelsea. I wonder how Chelsea Clinton feels about that.

Fort Leavenworth prison officials say he'll get no hormones and no surgery. Manning's lawyer calls this cruel and unusual punishment and vows to sue.

Advocates of transgender convicts claim (per recent news reports), "Self-castration, suicide and waves of desperation are byproducts of the denial of sex hormones to inmates yearning to switch genders." Sounds pretty grim, doesn't it?

I can't believe that the kids go back to school next week.

While waiting in line at WalMart this afternoon, I noticed several people with their shopping carts loaded with uniform clothing, binders, crayons, markers, organizers, colorful book covers, snazzy lunch bags, snacks and well, just everything, and I'm standing there thinking to myself "Well I think I have some leftover pens, pencils and paper from last year."

Summer seems to have just zoomed by me and the commencement of the new school year has caught me quite off guard and quite unprepared.

As I write this column the world is all aflutter over the "sudden" and "tragic" death of gifted actor and comedian Robin Williams.

Nearly every Facebook post I have seen has been about him and how sad it is.

Stories of his life and subsequent death dominate the media.

While my heart goes out to the family and friends that he has left behind, all of the hoopla makes me shake my head, especially when I read that people who never even met the man are crying and "beside themselves," and here's why: Mr. Williams was an adult man who made a choice to leave this place.

I consider myself to be a decent tipper.

I have held two waitressing jobs in my lifetime and know full well what is involved and what should be expected as a food server.

I also know the poor hourly wage that they are paid.

I don't understand why food servers are exempt from the minimum wage laws since they also spend some of their time making salads, refilling condiment bottles, making coffee, cleaning tables and the restaurant itself, but since they are, I tip.

You know the song.

It was released in 1979 by Rupert Holmes and was originally titled "Escape."

It became very popular, very quickly; however, people knew it as "The Pina Colada" song.

Mr. Holmes eventually agreed to change the title of it to: Escape (The Pina Colada song).

The song was basically about a guy who had become bored in his marriage and read the personal ads where he saw that a woman was looking for a man who enjoyed the same interests as she.

He responded to the ad and agreed to meet the woman at a bar.

I have a tattoo above my ankle.

It's a teddy bear holding a heart with my husband's name in it.

My husband sports one just like it on his arm with my name in the heart.

We had them done the week after we got married and I was 28 years old at the time.

I don't know what we were thinking.

I guess I was just giddy in love and thought it would be "cute" and he just wanted to make me happy.

While I do not regret getting a tattoo, I do wish I would have thought about it a little more so that I could have picked something different or designed my own.