between another revolution taught me a series of values that had nothing to do with clothes or sleepovers or even music. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was carried out simultaneously on Shanghai’s waterfront; a large piece of shrapnel flew through my parents’ iron bedstead and lodged in the opposite wall. It was December 8, because Japan and China lay across the International dateline.
I, the youngest of four siblings, had still to begin my education. But where and how? There were no creditable schools around, for those had packed up and left town. I was finally placed in an amateur institution cobbled together by two ex-secretaries. That lasted three months. Next, my mother found a school for refugee Russian children run by Irish nuns. I don’t recall how long that went.
Then, as the war ended and foreigners began to trickle back (the Irish were neutral in that war. The secretaries, we heard, found work as hula dancers in a nightclub), I was enrolled in the Sacre Coeur. My term there was a blur.
Afterward, the American School of Shanghai, for about a semester. Always, I faced textbooks far ahead for me because I’d no advance preparation for them
After that came the Loretto School, with American nuns. I remember that best, made lasting friends, a couple of whom I found again in California. The communists took over about then, April 1949, and my course again changed. I couldn’t continue at Loretto; there was no money to pay the modest tuition which in any case was required in American dollars. To buy those, one had to go the black market route; as far as I knew there was no official bank rate for American currency, not under the communist regime.
Those were the days!!!
It’s easy. All you do is use the bins issued by your garbage collector company, following the word pictures displayed on the lids. Separate your stuff and just do it.
I am not touting my virtue in recycling my bath water since 1987, which now is in style because of California’s drought conditions. I am saying that fear of change for the worse, fear of bad times ahead, fear of shortages and global warming and loss of our resources as we have enjoyed them, is a very very powerful incentive to save water and recycle trash. I think garbage disposals must be the worst offenders in egregious water consumption. It’s a luxury which must rank up there with throwing away food.
I was dismayed to read that only 17% of Alameda County’s residents recycle; imagine the habits of many other states which aren’t as conscious of nature being in peril. A friend living in Florida has no means even of recycling trash. She was bemused to see what I do here at home and went back to her state distressed at the state of things there.
California has a billionaire, Tom Steyr, who has committed $50 million of his own funds toward convincing those government naysayers about climate change. This state is fortunate to have others who pitch in as well with money and personal effort.
A couple months ago I collected 55 gallons of rain runoff from the roof and have been watering plants with it. But then had to spend a large sum of money to sweep the roof of pine needles and then, repair the gutters. Those 55 gallons were expensive!
In Rio de Janeiro, whilst occupied with The Little Theatre, the American expatriate group, I had a few contacts with The Players, the British counterpart. It was all very friendly, each side viewing the other’s plays and auditioning, as well. I recall their hilarious production, whose title I forget, but it was a film first made in the UK. It’s the sort of job that only the Brits can do so well, as the backstage crew tries to maintain silence while the play is in progress in front. The near misses and saves made us, the audience, roar.
But then the name of Ronnie Biggs, the notorious British train robber, taking refuge in Brazil, began to circulate amongst the expatriates. I was invited to a party featuring Biggs, and I did not go. I did not think meeting him was some sort of cachet. He and his gang had caused a death. The English-language Brazil Herald went on about him and his new Brazilian wife and child as if he were local color and nothing more. As a matter of fact, Brazil was haven for quite a few criminals, among them Nazi fugitives, one of whom lived next door to us.
Eventually, as the media would have it, Biggs returned to England, giving himself up because he was homesick. Now this sounds even more weird. He was homesick, so he went to prison in England, where he died last month. His funeral was conducted as though for a folk hero.
A vast number of our Earth’s population seems to have its values skewed, viewed through electronic devices as mere antics like Sesame Street. This sickness of thought is growing, a disconnect that is every bit as dangerous as crossing the street without looking up from texting.
I apologize, Ladies and Gennelmen, for somehow repeating a blog previously posted here. This, then, is the correct one:
They were doing it back and before I lived there, coalition after coalition, the left, right, Christian Democrats, and so on. Mussolini was the last clearly unifying leader of the country, bent as he was. Government after government has folded in mid-term since.
<br>What is glaringly bent now is the continued prominence of Berlusconi, who had been convicted several times for paying minors for sex and for corruption in government. Now he is leading the force against the current government, which by the way may be pre-empted by the mayor of Florence, one Matteo Renzi, a fairly young man and possibly a good prospect for unification. If he gets on, he might do something about the Mafia, which seem to be running things in the open.
I know y’all couldn’t care less about Italian politics, so I will try to make up with this one squib: Being the city hosting the Vatican, Rome had stringent laws governing public behavior between the sexes. The newspaper Il Messaggero used to trumpet the names of couples caught in the act of — kissing in the Borghese gardens. I wonder if that law is still alive? Think of the irony of this law dictating moral behavior. Think (and I know you can’t help it) of the priests who are/were not merely kissing. What a world.
We see this again and again in the media, prominent people caught in the headlights wishing they could turn their backs to the cameras but settling for that grimace made famous for peccadillos gone public. Webster’s describes “peccadillos” as a slight trespass or offense; a petty fault; a minor sin. They may be minor, all right, compared to a shooting or robbery or some such, but they do alter the course of careers.
Recently a woman was actually caught performing that look. Soon to become a former city council member owing to her being exposed, she joined that dubious pantheon of males. I was fascinated. Who, in the beginning of civilization, originated that lip grip? How did it come to express chagrin as did the pout, smile, sneer? Can anyone think of more such facial expressions? I know there are more but I am tapped out this morning and a dental appointment awaits. Dental — there’s another mouth stretch for you.
My writing has no particular “brand,” instead wandering everywhere, much like my life. If you will have a look at http://www.authorsden.com/lucillebellucci, all will be clear. So, this:
I thought my left eye saw something whiz past my kitchen window, then again back the other way.
<br>The hummers are back from their winter sojourn down south! Hurriedly I began filling their bottle which I had taken down late October to clean and store. Back then they almost ran me off my feet getting ready to migrate south. There were as many a dozen of the little things hovering and feeding and jostling each other. A four-pound sack of sugar lasted three days and I took to loading up with three or four each shopping time.
<br>I am pleased and flattered this harbinger of spring knew how to tell me to fill up their bottle. Refills during springtime and summer will be necessary only every four or five days until the late fall when they fall on the bottle en masse. They must come from other counties, seemed like.
<br>It worries me, though, to think of how climate change will affect them. Other critters, too. Will the coming summer fry eggs on sidewalks? California is enduring a severe drought, and hard cold is punishing the east coast and all across the country. When I see a Cadillac Escalade on the road I want to…..well, spit. Those days are over, folks, or do you think you have an exemption pass?
I receive, periodically, a report from the Humane Society Legislative Fund. This lays out statistics for Congress by Republican and Democrat vote on animal fighting, horse soring, horse racing, horse slaughter, animal welfare funding, veterinary medicine, and the all-important King Amendment blocking state laws protecting farm animals.
<br>”Soring,” the practice of using caustic chemicals, sharp objects and other methods upon Tennessee walking horses and related breeds to exaggerate their high-stepping gait for competition, is still in use. The King Amendment wants to block state laws for better care of farm animals. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa is the author of this motion.
<br>The votes in the Senate and the House, as I count them in this exhaustive statistical report, add up to 98% Democrat and the balance 2% Republican in favor of the Humane Society’s lobbying for the animal protection laws.
<br>There isn’t anything else left to say.