Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Rosh Hashana

In floods, fires, tremors

The past year shudders and fades

Yet hope still glimmers

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Worm

Plump pink worm squirms out

Gorging on my red apple

Yes its organic

Thursday, August 17, 2017


I am very pleased, thrilled in fact, to be able to report that at last I am feeling better.
Anything would be preferable to how I felt before. But as of this week, on Monday, I can say that I truly do feel better. I resumed work at Yaza (more of that later), I walk around my neighbourhood which is decidedly hilly. In fact, some streets are not just gentle inclines, they are quite steep. I go for long walks on the Bayshore trail and around the Berkeley Marina. I actually eat again, not much, but I do eat. I work in my garden and am knitting and reading. I can converse with people without being interrupted by bouts of coughing. I am exceedingly grateful.

The downside of feeling better is that I can listen to, and read, the news again. Need I say more ...

I look back at the entries I posted last year after the Iowa Caucuses, and pre and post election (this year.) Simply put, all the horror I foresaw is coming to pass. What shocks me is how so many people still seem surprised that there are people who support this man. I wish I could say I was surprised, but after working in Contra Costa County for so many years, this hatred and ignorance is sadly a representation of how many people feel. I would like to say how many people think, but thought does not come into it. Just knee jerk reactions.

In my book Tree Barking I wrote about the anti semitism I encountered. Of course not just anti semitism, racism and bigotry in all its forms. These superstitions and ignorance and deep seated beliefs exist everywhere. So, no, I am not surprised at all. I am deeply saddened.

What does surprise me is that some people still look to the so-called leaders in the hope of hearing some condemnation of the perpetrators of this hatred and violence. Some voice of calm and reason. They cannot look to those in power for any kind of reasonable, moral, articulate statements.

As a citizen of both Israel and the United States, I am further saddened by Netanyahu's lack of response to Trump's historical statements. The corruption and lack of humanity spreads across the globe. I am heartened somewhat by peoples' responses to what is going on. I am heartened that the CEO's resigned, and that citizens are making a stance, but those n power are very greedy and very short sighted, they don't, in fact, give a hoot about anyone except themselves and their pockets.

So ... I am feeling well enough to feel angry, saddened, and outraged. I am not sure whether this is good or bad.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


This is a photo of the bit of cream dropped by my fellow traveler which is what I believe led to the temporary loss of her kindle. Instant divine punishment on the gentler side of most punishments. The horror of it all. This is in a country where I saw steel samurai ear cleaners for sale. I looked for dental floss and went into the pharmacy area of a department store. There is a grave danger of getting the wrong product when you can't read the language. I saw what I presumed was toothpaste, but when I held my google translate app up to it I saw it was a tube of cream for vagina candida!!!! A grave error. I found an assistant and mimicked flossing my teeth. She led me to a section of dental floss, quite self evident, along with other things. One being a cardboard square with a graphic of a pretty woman on it with something in one nostril. On the other side was a graphic of a man with something in one nostril. The cardboad was encased in plastic and underneath the picture was a small green cylindrical thing with a small hook on one side. Intrigued, I asked the helpful assistant what that is. "A nosepicker," she replied, matter of factly.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Random signage in toilets

Chronicle Headline, July 6, 2017

View on page BART hit again by teen robbers Agency defends change in its way of reporting crimes on the system By Michael Bodley Above is a headline in today's San Francisco Chronicle. And then follows the shocking story of teenage robbers swarming onto BART and grabbing passengers phones, laptops, etc. This is the second time in 2 1/2 months! This headline catapulted me back to my trip to Japan. Yes, I really was there, and I have photos and memories to prove it. We spent lots of time on Japanese railways, subways, buses, trains, cable cars, and even on a plane. On arrival we went by shuttle from Osaka to Kyoto. The driver of the shuttle bus, a young woman, wore a uniform replete with white gloves. The seat tops were covered in spotless lace white coverings. We stopped at a gas station/refreshment stop and I was floored by the toilet. A heated toilet seat, spotlessly clean, with buttons to program 'actions.' A button with music for 'privacy.' A button for what looked like a bidet spray, another for a rear spray. Just astounding. All the writing was in Japanese but there were universal symbols. I was a bit hard pressed to find the 'stop' and 'flush' buttons, but after turning of all the lights and setting of an alarm, I learned. The buses were often crowded, but no one pushed against anyone. On both the buses and trains noone spoke on cellphones, and it was generally very quiet. The only sounds being that of a recording of each stop. Passengers seemed very tired, but they kept their legs together, bags on their laps, and curled forward, into themselves, to sleep. No manspreading or seat hogging here. Passengers got off the buses from the front of the bus inserting their tickets into a machine, or showing their passes to the driver who bowed, 'arigato'd' and 'haied'each and every passenger. Our first foray to the subway station left me once again, thunderstruck at the cleanliness of the floors, walls, escalators, and public toilets. This was not like BART, indeed not. To add to everything, the trains came and left on the exact second that was posted. We were on a crowded loop train in Osaka at mid-morning. One of our group realised she had left her kindle on the train. Of course she was very upset. This same woman had shamefully sullied the floor of the subway station in Osaka before losing her kindle. She took a bite from a cream filled pastry and some cream fell on to the ground. I pointed out to her that she should get down on her hands and knees to clean it up, but for some reason she did not do this. I think her leaving the kindle was a punishment. I once left a kindle on a plane to India - needless to say, it was bye-bye kindle. I understood her being upset, but for some reason was certain she would see her kindle again. Later we went to a tourist information office in a little village on Mt. Koya. The helpful clerks took all her information. At that time, just four hours later, they had no word of the kindle. She was forlorn. Once again I assured her she would get it back. Most unfortunately I did not place at least $100 bet on my assurance. Two days later her kindle awaited her at our hotel in Tokyo.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


An addendum (or whatever it is called) to my previous entry. My doctor called me this morning. I had gone online to arrange for a call from her on her return. She called 30 minutes late, but she did call. Basically she confirmed the entibiotics I was prescribed and told me why I was prescribed the inhaler. She said that the road to recovery is long, and I should drink plenty of fluids and that I should return for a follow up chest x-ray in a month. She added nothing new, really, but I find it incredibly comforting just to hear this from her. So now I rest and drink ..... and will write about Japan