Eric Carle wrote and illustrated The Very Hungry Caterpillar and several other children’s books. He is also notable for founding a museum of picture book art. Another author/illustrator of children’s books, Lois Ehlers, best known for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom died a couple of days later.
John Warner spent 30 years as a Republican senator from Virginia and had earlier been the Secretary of the Navy. He was also Elizabeth Taylor’s sixth husband. Despite having been a Republican, in more recent years, he endorsed a number of Democrats, both for the Senate and the Presidency.
B. J. Thomas was a pop singer. Some of the songs he was well-known for include “Hooked on a Feeling,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “I Just Can’t Help Believing,” and “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.”
Gavin McLeod played Murray on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and was the captain on The Love Boat.
I don’t normally mention animal deaths, but Bo, the Obama family dog, was prominent enough that I think he deserves a note. I don’t think many Americans had heard of a Portuguese water dog, a supposedly hypo-allergenic breed, before the Obamas got him for their daughters.
Errata: I made a minor addition to the Island Hopping entry. I had completely neglected Jones Beach. And Fire Island, which I might have gone to.
Cool Baseball Trivia: On Friday May 21st, Seattle back-up catcher Jose Godoy made his major league debut, becoming the 20,000th player in major league baseball history. (The Mariners got slaughtered by the Padres, however, losing 16-1.)
Blight Flight: I watched this short play by Iyona Blake on-line a couple of weeks ago. I know her work primarily as a singer and actor, who has made numerous appearances at Signature Theatre and Creative Cauldron. The play involves a white woman trying to befriend the black woman being forced out of the house next door by rising prices in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. The black woman makes her question her assumptions, but the two connect at the end via a song. It was a challenging story and I’d like to see it developed into a full-length production mostly because I was left with a lot of questions about both women.
Don’t Analyze This Dream: I drove into the German embassy - literally, into the building. I pulled up next to a guard who told me to get out of the car and then took my temperature with a forehead thermometer. Another guard came over, walked around me, shook his head, but did not tell me what to do or where to go. At that point, three women came in, one of whom resembles someone I slightly know. They were given some papers by another guard and went into a door. I waited a while, all of the guards wandered away, and I decided I should go through that same door. The three women were gone. Just outside the door, I saw a small table with stacks of vaccination certificates. I walked over to a window where a guy told me I didn’t have to do anything but take a seat at a table and wait. He also invited me to an upcoming Valentine’s Day party at the embassy. While I was waiting, someone said they had gotten the number 30, which seemed to be a bad thing. The three women came back in, carrying clipboards with yellow papers. I don’t remember anything happening after that point.
This Way Lies Madness: I finally achieved Queen Bee in the New York Times Spelling Bee (a daily word puzzle). Not just once, but every day for a week or so and several times since. I have decided, however, that pursuing that every day is just too obsessive, especially on days when there are 60+ words to find. I did admittedly do it today, but there were only 39 words.
Retirement Gift: I got the retirement gift catalog from Circle-A and chose an iPad. The other possibility was an Apple watch, but I have really small wrists and thought I would find it awkward. It came on Friday but I haven’t set it up yet. I think the current offerings (which also include things like cookware and jewelry),are better than what people years ago complained about. Twenty some odd years ago,, they gave out mostly clocks, with only an engraved bowl as a non-time oriented option.
Art Fair: I went to the Old Town Art Fair in Alexandria a couple of weeks ago. I attempted to find someone to come along to be a shopping discourager, but none of my friends were interested and available. As a result, I bought a few things - a robot sculpture from Cheri Kudzu’s Bitti Bots, a brooch made from watch parts, and a book called Goodbye, Penguins, which has a rather Gorey-esque sensibility. I like some works of urban surrealism by a guy named Ralph Rankin, but he was horribly rude to me when I asked for his card, so I will never buy anything from him.
Renwick Gallery: I went to the Renwick Gallery a week and a half ago with one of the women from my crafts group. Mostly, we went to look at the Renwick Invitational, which had installations from four artists. Rowland Ricketts had a large piece made of squares of indigo-dyed fabric. He apparently grows the indigo himself. That installation also had music in the background. Lauren Fensterstock’s piece was titled “The totality of time lusters the dusk.” It was a complex mosaic piece made of glass, crystals, beads, paper, hematite, etc. and, while I thought it was interesting, it was too hard to see the whole thing at some time. Debora Moore had several pieces that involved glass flower petals blown directly onto wood and concrete bases. Finally, Timothy Horn had large pieces based on historic jewelry, as well as an interesting carriage made out of rock sugar. After looking at that exhibit, we went upstairs to look at the permanent exhibit. Janet Echelon’s 1.8 is one of the highlights, with a fiber netting that changes colors in response to lighting. My favorite, however, was Skeins by Mariska Karasz. Overall, it was a nice couple of hours.
Immigrant Food: After the museum, I had lunch at Immigrant Food, which is more or less around the corner. I had their equivalent of a banh mi, which was quite tasty. (The person I went with wanted to rush home, as she is caring for her husband who is in treatment for cancer.)
Good News: I got my blood tested a few days ago. And all of the numbers on the iron panel were within normal range. So I just need to continue taking oral supplements.
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