Belated Happy 4th of July/Independence Day wishes to y’all.
As I threatened promised last year, I walked in Manzanita’s July 4th parade yesterday. Here’s what I wrote about the parade in last year‘s log post:
Department Of Saved By The Spirit Of America
I am a notorious parade-loather. I find parades, at both the conceptual and practical levels, to be…absurd, at best. Thus, unless a parade’s entrants and/or organizers acknowledge the inanity of it all  and try to be deliberately silly – anyone seen Pasadena’s Doo Dah Parade?  – you can count me out, as either a spectator or participant.
The Oregon beach town of my dreams and my heart, Manzanita, has a yearly July 4th parade, which, I have been told, is just so low tech and small-town cutesy that even a parade-hater such as moiself would find it adorable (or at least tolerable). So, I had an idea for my participation in this year’s parade. I had a banner made, and began gathering the beginnings of my parade “uniform,” much to the consternation of MH, who wondered aloud if he would attend the parade (or need to leave town afterward), should I be a participant, wearing and doing…whatever it was I would wear and do.
Moiself got herself to the Manzanita City hall website where, I was told, parade entry info would be posted the first week in June. And it was, and…
Damn you, Foul Crushers of Aspirations!
Manzanita’s parade apparently has a theme, which varies from year to year. This year’s theme is, The Spirit of America. My planned getup could be – very, very, verrrrrrrrry loosely – attributed to a certain, uh, independence of spirit, but it definitely ain’t yer red white and blue/flag-waving, lovin’ that good ole country of mine. What I have in mind holds no disparagement toward my country nor toward the concept of patriotism, but it would be a non sequitur, given the theme, as per this description from the parade’s participant registration form (which has a picture of a very serious-looking bald eagle, ready to pluck the eyes out of anyone who would mock its usage as a symbol of American Greatness ® ) :
Decorations required: All entries including autos must be decorated in a patriotic theme and/or in the theme of the parade. The theme is “The Spirit of America”.
I tried to clarify the parade registration form information. The city clerk told me she thought that the requirement to dress as per the theme might be only for entrants “who want to be judged.”
“Trust me,” I replied, “I’m judged all the time, whether or not I’m an official entrant of anything.”
Later that day, when I returned home (to Hillsboro), I reassured MH that he’d been saved by the (Liberty) bell, so to speak. My parade accoutrements will remain in my closet, in a bag protected by a sentiment dear to the heart of every perennial loser underdog sports team’s fans:
Flash forward, 2019: I confirmed with City Hall that parade entrants need not dress as per the parade’s theme unless they are “official” entrants – non-officials may simply show up at the parade’s starting area and be assigned a marching spot. Which I did.
As my blog deadline is actually the night before publication (when friends and I were doing our 4th of July celebrating), I shall have a brief recount plus Photographic Evidence ® of my public shame parade participation in next week’s blog.
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Department Of Secret Identities Revealed
As per last week’s review of the first of the Democratic candidates’ debates:
…there was just one candidate (whom I shall not name) who disappointed me: it was the guy who, although an experienced and seasoned politician, when the camera was first turned on him looked as if he were trying to remain calm despite knowing that a weasel was crawling up his pant leg.
It was Rep. Tim Ryan. Doubt me? Watch the debate again, and look at Ryan’s face, the first time a question is posed to him – this was long before he got schooled on Taliban v. Al-Qaeda by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
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Department Of Pathetic Justifications
Aka, That’s My Story And I’m Sticking To It
“Welcome to Walmart!”
No one greeted me thusly. Nevertheless, I kept my sunglasses on when I entered in the store, as if I were afraid of being recognized:
“That’s her – the woman who swore she’d never set foot inside a Walmart!”
Indeed, it was my first time, ever, in a Walmart. I’ve boycotted them because of their history of sexism and discriminatory employment practices, and decimating small town retail businesses … But no other local business had what I needed. I knew I could order it online, but if Walmart had it, at least that would keep a bit of the money locally (I was on the Oregon coast) vs. putting more dollars in Amazon’s pocket.… Yeah, that’s the ticket.
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Department Of Apparently This Also Happens In Other Artistic Professions
“Would you please donate _______ (your mentoring time; your expertise; a photo shoot, pottery lessons, original oil painting; five copies of your book) to our worthy cause? We can’t pay you, but you’ll get plenty of exposure….”
(Requests heard and loathed by every artist/artisan, ever)
I saw a posting on Facebook from a photographer who, fed up with people asking for free photo shoots, decided to turn the tables, so to speak, by composing his own ad seeking free services from professionals. Like others working in a “creative” field, I am all-too familiar with the situation he lampooned, to the point that, many years ago, I had composed (but never sent to anyone, or posted) my own “employment ad.” Inspired by the FB post, I searched my files and dug up my fantasy employment ad. With all attribution/apologies to the photographer:
Writer Seeks Professionals Willing To Do Their Jobs For Free
I am a writer. All kinds of people ask me for my products and services, for free. They request that I:
* provide them or their group free copies of my books
* travel to their school or community group to speak about writing, and/or /give writing workshops, sans remuneration
* edit their or their children’s resumes, job applications, term papers….
I therefore assume that all kinds of people must also do their jobs and offer their services without expecting payment.
I need all kinds of people to provide all kinds of services for me. Doctors; dentists, yard maintenance; grocery shopping and deliver; massage; auto repair; computer chip design; tax preparation; restaurant chefs and waitstaff; plumbers; college professors to educate my children – I will gladly and gratefully accept these and other services as long as I don’t have to pay for them.
What’s in it for you, you may ask? Why, you’ll gain even more experience in your chosen field, and although you can’t take gratitude to the bank, you can bank on my gratitude: I’ll tell everyone I know how appreciative I am and what wonderful work you do. That’s, like, free publicity! This will likely bring you innumerable offers for unpaid work but also plenty of goodwill, and who can put a price on exposure?
So, if you have a job or service you provide, and will do it for free, let me know and I’ll gladly hire you!
(Don’t read The Oatmeal? You should.)
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Department Of Honey, You *So* Did Not Have To Do That To Make Me Feel Better
MH texted me with the picture he took for his passport renewal, with the message:
“Here’s the guy that will accompany you on international trips.”
“We are so going to get pulled out of line for additional screening.”
This is highly unusual. Moiself is the one who takes the atrocious pictures, from family snapshots to passport, Costco, and other ID cards. You know how at the DMV, when you go to the line for your driver’s license picture they hurry you through and you get one shot only because there are six people in line behind you? The last time I had my license renewed the DMV employee who took my picture looked at her camera screen, frowned, and called her supervisor over. The supervisor looked at the screen, then at me, back at the screen again, then said to me, “Oh, you really don’t want this one.” And they redid my photo. TWICE.
But, really, this passport photo of MH’s is…uh….oh, dear. 
MH’s tresses are shoulder length, and he has a beard – both are dark and were apparently having a Bad Hair Day ® when the picture was taken. He’s a friendly-looking guy, but they don’t want you to smile in a passport photo, and you can tell he wants to…but the overall effect… Well, he looks like he’s about to scream, “Death to America!”
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Department of Epicurean Excursion 
Featuring this week’s cookbook, author and recipe:
Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking by Julie Sahni.
Recipes: Muttakos Sambaar (Hearty Blue Mountain Cabbage and Tomato Stew), and
Pachadi Vallerika (Zucchini and Yogurt Salad)
My rating: for the Muttakos Sambaar:
for the Pachadi Vallerika
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
Recipe Rating Refresher 
* * *
May your most hideous ID photo not cause you to get additional screening;
May you think twice, and twice again, before asking someone to “donate” their services;
May you never run for political office if you can’t control your weasel face;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
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 A bunch of people sitting on street curbs, watching another bunch of people walk past them, or watching cars drive by slowly and horses poop while they are walking and then other people following behind scooping the poop.
 How could I not love a parade which introduced the world to the following Drill Teams:
* Synchronized Precision Marching Briefcase Drill Team
* Lawn Mower Drill Team
* The BBQ & Hibachi Marching Grill Team
* The Shopping Cart Drill Team
* The Men of Leisure Synchronized Nap Team
* Claude Rains & the 20-Man Memorial Invisible Man Marching Drill Team
* The Committee for the Right to Bear Arms, which marches while carrying mannequin arms.
 On the bright side, seeing it made me realize it is way past time for me to get my own shaggy hair trimmed.
 A recurring feature of this blog, since week 2 of April 2019, wherein moiself decided that moiself would go through my cookbooks alphabetically and, one day a week, cook (at least) one recipe from one book.
* Two Thumbs up: Liked it
* Two Hamster Thumbs Up : Loved it
* Thumbs Down – Not even Kevin ( a character on The Office who would eat anything) would like this.
* Twiddling Thumbs: I was, in due course, bored by this recipe.
* Thumbscrew: It was torture to make this recipe.
* All Thumbs: Good recipe, but I somehow mucked it up .
* Thumby McThumb Face: This recipe was fun to make.
* Thumbing my nose: Yeah, I made this recipe, but I did not respect it.