On Tuesday MH and I were discussing the Hillsboro School Board meeting to be held later that day, during which the board would be taking public input regarding the topic of providing family planning services at school based health centers. We each separately emailed the board members with letters supporting the proposal. 
Two of the current school board members work at the same company as MH. I remembered asking MH, when those individuals were first running for their school board seats, what he knew about their respective political beliefs and temperaments. This led to a brief back and forth about the qualities we’d want to see in a decent, effective politician – even one running for a (allegedly) nonpartisan position, ala school board member. The ability to seek common ground or “reach across the aisle” was high on the list.
Many are the times I have considered how I lack a temperament (or even the desire to temper my temperament) which is even marginally suitable (read: electable) for public office, even an office as “small potatoes” as serving on a school board. I occasionally attended several meetings of my school board when I was in high school. What with the issues and tenor of the times,  the meetings could get quite…entertaining…which made me wonder how the relatively sane members of the board managed to sit next to the whackadoodles, let alone have a rational discussion about educational policies.
That memory/idea must have gotten stuck in the space between my ears, because when I awoke the next morning (Wednesday), this was the first thought that came to mind:
I have no desire to seek common ground with morons.
* * *
Department of Despair to Come
We’ve a ways to go until the political parties hold their conventions, I know. Still, when I think of the prospects, I get a lump in my throat. I call it the Clump Lump, a mashup of the most likely two choices I do not want to choose. Clinton, or Trump? Please, my fellow Americans,  don’t do this to me. Or to yourselves.
Clump. Clump. Clump. Thump.
Of course, there would be no contest re my choice of the Clump. Having not recently had a lobotomy or the intellectual equivalent of a compassion colonoscopy, it’s easy: I know Hillary R. Clinton is up to the task and I would gladly cast my vote for her.
But I wanted something new. Something Else.
Look, I know that much of what I think I may know about Clinton comes from 25 years of Republican slavering attack dog tactics:– “a quarter century of visceral GOP hatred.”
But, here’s the thing. What she said just before Nancy Reagan’s funeral – she did that all by herself.
I get it: you’re getting ready to attend a funeral of a public figure, you have to say something nice about the deceased. But you don’t lie; you don’t forget or twist history. I won’t belabor the point and you can look it up here and elsewhere, but Clinton’s WTF statement about Ronald and Nancy Reagan spurring “a national conversation, before anyone would talk about it,”  about AIDS?!?!?!
So. Pathetically. Astonishingly. Not. True.
And I can’t think why HRC would say that…other than staying true to what seems to be a (political) life-long habit of saying what seems to be convenient and/or expedient.
* * *
Department Of Parents Are Never Too Old To Go Apeshit
Over Reminders of Childhood Cuteness
It has been a week of many celebrations, both national and personal. Belle is home for Spring Break. Pi day. The Ides of March. That Irish-American Thing.  Many if not all of these festive days call for special feasts. I asked Belle if there was any special dinner she’d like, in honor of…whatever. While she was pondering her options, MH showed me a list Belle had made, quite a long time ago. He found it written on a (unfortunately, undated) notepad he discovered as he was going through old papers in the attic:
I told Belle all she had to do was say the word and we would endeavor to come up with a speshl desert and froot salid…and lots of Yum.
* * *
Department of They Said It Would Never Work
Content warning, PETA supporters: contains arguable mistreatment of select arthropods.
For the past couple of weeks, every morning I’ve come downstairs to the sight of a black ant – or sometimes two or three – creeping about the kitchen or dining nook. Like the steering wheel around the pirate’s genitals, it’s driving me nuts.
We have no idea how/where the ants are getting in. They find their way to the kitchen counters, where they are summarily and enthusiastically squished by moiself, a paper towel becoming their white shroud of doom. At most it seems as if they’re sending in a few “scouts” at a time. It’s isn’t a horde…but I know they’re out there.
As a warning to its tribe, I made an example of one scout. There was more than a bit of eye rolling skepticism from my family when I set the warning on the counter at night before going upstairs to bed.
The next morning was the first morning in over a week when there were no ants in the kitchen. Not a one. Vindication was mine. 
* * *
Pearls From Sand: How Small Encounters Lead To Powerful Life Lessons
I recently read (and very much enjoyed) the above book, written by My New Friend. As the title indicates, it is about how everyday, seemingly mundane conversations and encounters can lead to profound insights that shape how we act toward and think about ourselves and others.
The book’s Chapter 7 is titled Introverted is Something You Are, which got me to thinking  about that most common, and perhaps most commonly misunderstood, personality type division: that of Extrovert and Introvert.
It has long been my observation that the world can be divided into two types of people: those who divide the world into two types of people, and those who don’t.
But seriously, Ladies and Germs, y’all know about one of the more popular “personality type” tests, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ? Chances are you’ve taken the test for fun, or at some point in your working life, when the new/overenthusiastic member of your company’s HR department decided it was a fun tool to use in that most jaw-clenching and tedious of workplace events, the Let’s All Try To Understand Each Other ® workshop. 
The MBTI aims to elicit psychological preferences in how a person perceives the world and makes decisions. It does this through the use of a self-report questionnaire which then ranks your personality type based on your preferences in each of the test’s four dichotomies. Your preference in each dichotomy is also ranked as to its strength; e.g., your answers indicate you tend to be slightly, moderately or distinctively expressed in that categories. One of the four dichotomies is Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
I’ve taken the test a few times over the years,  noting that, like most people who do so, my scores have varied within each dichotomy. One consistency over the years is that in the E/I dichotomy, I test as an E. This would come as no surprise to friends, family and co-workers, who’ve pegged me as an Extrovert over the years. If the choice is I or E, she’s definitely an E. What might come as a surprise is that my scores on the MBTI Extraversion scale have been, consistently, only slightly expressed.
Moiself has never claimed the Extrovert label.  I find it interesting that someone who would be (self- or otherwise identified as) an extrovert would chose the life/profession I have chosen, where I am alone for the majority of my day.
While no one enjoys time with friends – whether one-on-one or in group activities – more than I, my activities and interests tend to be solitary, or those which can be done with one or two people (e.g. reading, hiking, kayaking, archery, masturbation,  KenKen and crossword puzzles). I try to avoid meetings/committees of any kind, and would rather trim my nose hairs with a week whacker than give a reading of my work or do other writing-related professional appearances.
So, how do I think of, or label, moiself? Thanks for asking. I’ve yet to find my dichotomy: I am a Gregarious Loner.
Stick that in your MBTI pipe and smoke it.
* * *
May your personality dichotomies by freely expressed;
May you find words to praise the dead without lying your ass off;
May you find pearls in sand but no sand in your sandwich,
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 We’d planned on attending the meeting, but Life events © intervened.
 It was the mid 1970s…Patty Hearst could have been hiding anywhere.
 I use that term not as an indicator of USA chauvinism – which I’ve been accused of on more than one occasion when doing so. I realize Canadians and Mexicans are (North) Americans, too. But our country has a rather clumsy name, especially when it comes to monikers for its citizens. If you live in Germany you are German; in France, you are French, In the USA you are…USA-ian? United Stateian? I’ve yet to run across a less clumsy descriptor than the one that uses the last part of the US of A.
 The Reagan reaction to the HIV/AIDS crisis is what phrases like “deafening silence” and “turning a blind eye” were invented for. Reagan would not utter the name of the virus until late in his second term, and Nancy even refused to help her friend Rock Hudson get treatment when he was dying of “the gay disease.”
 On March 17 real Irish people in Ireland apparently do not affix paper shamrocks on their foreheads, don Kiss Me I’m Irish underpants and drink until they vomit green beer on their faux Leprechaun shoes and call it a celebration of their heritage.
 A wonderful feeling, however temporary. But really, the damn thing worked for about 12 hours.
 I tried to lie down on the couch; alas, the thinking continued.
 This is not another footnote. Move it along, folks – nothing here to see.
 Mostly for fun, and mostly when for some reason it has been mentioned by someone – a friend who’s used it at work, for example. I find any sort of personality test somewhat rigid but think such tests can be useful as a starting point to understanding other people, as well as yourself…as long as you don’t take it as the be-all and end-all of psychological analysis. Many people claim the Myers-Briggs test has helped them become more aware of the differences between people, and to see such differences as just that – different, not “wrong”…even though I remember reading somewhere that most of not many of the dimensions measured in the test have failed to hold up to consistent research.
 nor have I vehemently denied it, so…yeah. What she said.
 Just checking to see if you’re reading, Belle and K. If so, your mother did not write that, okay?