Gaylord

Is not my real name. It is the name of my mother’s dead sister. She is the one of whom my mother says “she was the best” “she was the nicest”, etc. She died quite young, a very long time ago. My mother, many years ago, paid me an exquisite compliment by telling me I was most like her sister Gaylord. If my child had been a girl she would have been Shaina Gaylord (but he wasn’t and he isn’t). There is something liberating about writing under an “assumed” name – I love that description. It is like going on vacation alone to some far away place and making up a persona for yourself. Blogging gives you a forum and an assumed name gives you a sense of freedom. It is false of course, since you provide your blog address to everyone you have ever known. So why not put my own name to it? I don’t know, I am contemplating changing that but haven’t decided. Even if everyone knows who I am, having a different name is fun, in some weird limited way. Using the name gave me the courage to start this blog with an entry about the “red hat” thing (you can still read it under November), which apparently offended quite a few folks. Amazingly and unlike my “real self”, I didn’t care. If for no other reason, I think I will keep my Aunt Gay’s name for now, I don’t think she’d mind.

Gaylord

Is not my real name. It is the name of my mother’s dead sister. She is the one of whom my mother says “she was the best” “she was the nicest”, etc. She died quite young, a very long time ago. My mother, many years ago, paid me an exquisite compliment by telling me I was most like her sister Gaylord. If my child had been a girl she would have been Shaina Gaylord (but he wasn’t and he isn’t). There is something liberating about writing under an “assumed” name – I love that description. It is like going on vacation alone to some far away place and making up a persona for yourself. Blogging gives you a forum and an assumed name gives you a sense of freedom. It is false of course, since you provide your blog address to everyone you have ever known. So why not put my own name to it? I don’t know, I am contemplating changing that but haven’t decided. Even if everyone knows who I am, having a different name is fun, in some weird limited way. Using the name gave me the courage to start this blog with an entry about the “red hat” thing (you can still read it under November), which apparently offended quite a few folks. Amazingly and unlike my “real self”, I didn’t care. If for no other reason, I think I will keep my Aunt Gay’s name for now, I don’t think she’d mind.

The Spandex Restricted List

Yes…I believe there is one. I also think you all know whether you are on it or not. I know I am. I believe most Americans are on it. I also believe most Americans do not own or utilize mirrors appropriately. If they did, they would be much more aware of whether they are or should be on the spandex restricted list. I am convinced that most Americans do not look at their butts in the mirror before leaving their homes in the morning, giving rise to an aesthetic crisis of some magnitude at a time of day when a person is insufficiently fortified with caffeine to withstand it. In larger urban areas the number of young lithe (probably anorexic) folk seems greater and therefore the list might be a bit shorter in these areas. Everywhere else, and particularly at family resort destinations (one of which I live quite near), the list is enormous and almost all encompassing. There are some simple possible rules of thumb. If you don’t own a bicycle, don’t wear spandex. If you are not at 20% bmi or less, don’t wear spandex. Unless you are going to work out at the gym and you are already in great muscular shape, don’t wear spandex. Spandex is not a fashion statement of any reasonable sort. If I work out, I wear comfortable, cotton, clothing that breathes. Spandex is tight and shiny and calls attention to all the wrong things. Worst of all, spandex forces all the extra out the top and bottom. If you have extra, don’t wear spandex; and check the mirror.

The Spandex Restricted List

Yes…I believe there is one. I also think you all know whether you are on it or not. I know I am. I believe most Americans are on it. I also believe most Americans do not own or utilize mirrors appropriately. If they did, they would be much more aware of whether they are or should be on the spandex restricted list. I am convinced that most Americans do not look at their butts in the mirror before leaving their homes in the morning, giving rise to an aesthetic crisis of some magnitude at a time of day when a person is insufficiently fortified with caffeine to withstand it. In larger urban areas the number of young lithe (probably anorexic) folk seems greater and therefore the list might be a bit shorter in these areas. Everywhere else, and particularly at family resort destinations (one of which I live quite near), the list is enormous and almost all encompassing. There are some simple possible rules of thumb. If you don’t own a bicycle, don’t wear spandex. If you are not at 20% bmi or less, don’t wear spandex. Unless you are going to work out at the gym and you are already in great muscular shape, don’t wear spandex. Spandex is not a fashion statement of any reasonable sort. If I work out, I wear comfortable, cotton, clothing that breathes. Spandex is tight and shiny and calls attention to all the wrong things. Worst of all, spandex forces all the extra out the top and bottom. If you have extra, don’t wear spandex; and check the mirror.

Friends in the Wind

During this past season of Hannukah (only one of seventeen spellings), a friend of ours suffered a massive coronary during the night. Come morning he was alive but significantly oxygen deprived. He and his family lived out west, as we had for years but no longer do. As in every situation of this sort we felt terribly powerless, but more so for the distance. When tragedy strikes I tend to task my way through, make food, help my elders, dress the youngsters and all such things that need to be done. As we received e-mail updates on his condition and it became clear that the family was gathering, that he would never awaken from his coma, there was nothing we could do but feel sad, and a little scared. We aren’t old, but he was younger, one child in college and one in high school (as is ours, but we started late!). The suddenness of it, the finality of the attack was frightening; the thought that there would never be a final word, a goodby, a hug, a soft kiss. And on night six of Hannukah as we gathered with our family and friends to light the sixth candle, I asked a moment of silence for this dear soul in his fight for life and we lit a special candle for him. I later learned that, as a result of the time difference, he died at just about the time we held him in our hearts for that brief silence. It is hard to describe his family; his parents, his wife, his children. All are extraordinary and special people, talented, bright, loving. They all had an extraordinary relationship with one another. I know they still suffer. We are powerless to help in any way. And so today I listened to the Grateful Dead by way of tribute, he would understand; but he’s gone.