Tuesday, May 22, 2018

SOL Tuesday: Busy, busy, busy


            This week and next week are my busiest weeks of the year. I’m a free-lance copy editor, working primarily for my former employer, Publishers Weekly magazine. Next week is the publishing and bookselling industries’ trade show, now called BookExpo, followed by a new consumer/readers’ show called BookCon, and PW does a daily publication called Show Daily each of the four days of the two conventions. Each is full of advertising, and the printer needs lots of pages in advance, called the preprint, and that’s what we’re working on this week.
            For the past month I’ve been copy editing dozens of stories at home. This week I, and the two editors, get to read the page proofs, at least twice, after our art director does layouts and prints pages.
            So today, I arrived at the office (this work can’t really be done long distance) around 11, bringing my breakfast with me. Spent the next eight hours reading pages, answering copy editing questions, kibbitzing with my editors, recommending a movie to the fiction reviews editor, snacked on the Girl Scout cookies brought by the Show Daily editor, chatted baseball with the publisher (he’s a Yankees fan, I’m a Mets fan).
            When I got home at 8, I ate my takeout soup while watching the Mets lose, read some more page proofs and made corrections. E-mailed the nonfiction reviews editors that I would be late working on their files. Washed the dishes. Finally got a chance to balance my checkbook. Did my daily crossword puzzle. Packed up my backpack for tomorrow—when it will be a repeat of the above.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

SOL Tuesday: New York City Wildlife


            I was all over the city today, taking the subway six times. On one trip, as I was walking up the stairs from the platform at West 4th Street, something flitted by my peripheral vision. I looked back. Yes, it was a gray mouse, running downstairs. I think it was a mouse. It didn’t look big enough to be a rat, although I could see it from the top of the steps, so maybe it was bigger than I think.
            “New York wildlife,” I said to the young woman behind me.
            “It startled me,” she replied. She must be new to the city.
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It’s Slice of Life Tuesday over at Two Writing Teachers. Check out this encouraging and enthusiastic writing community and their slices of life every Tuesday. And add one of your own.

Blogging A-Z: H Is for Hiatus

I have to take a hiatus. Free-lance work is piling up and the next six weeks will leave me no time to write. Maybe I'll find an hour here and there, but until June, I'm not going to be able to continue the daily post...

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Blogging A-Z: K Is for Kansas


            Jack was from Kansas. He was born in a small town, was moved at age 2 to government housing in Wichita, and when he was 12, the family moved again, into the city and a small house—I think it had three bedrooms, but can’t be sure. By this time, his older sister had married and left home, but his older brother, after he did his army service, came home to live, and Jack slept in the basement while his younger brother had his own bedroom.
            I’m not sure when Jack decided he had to leave Kansas. But when his father died suddenly
when Jack was 20, he knew that if he didn’t leave Kansas soon, he never would. He saved his money, he flunked out of college again, and in the late summer of 1963, he got a ride to Kansas City with a woman friend (I think her name was Carolyn Markley, and she drove a little red sports car really fast), and took the bus to Washington, D.C. He went to D.C. because a high school friend was a student at George Washington University.
            I first went to Kansas in the ’60s, when we’d been married for almost three years. Jack’s older brother, Larry, met us at the airport and drove us to their mother’s house. After we’d been driving for several minutes, I saw a few two-story buildings and asked, “When are we getting to the city?”
            Jack said, “This is the city.”
            I was abashed.
            In those years, I think I’d talked on the phone to his mother for less than a total of five minutes. In those days, I was still very shy and not good at meeting new people. So I think I still said very little to her. And we didn’t stay at Jack’s childhood home. No., we stayed at Larry’s, with his extremely pregnant wife, Coyita, and their toddler, Michelle. And a couple of days after we arrived, Coyita was off to the hospital to have Renee.
            Wichita was one of the cities where food products were tested. Here is where I first encountered Pop-Tarts. Coyita offered one to Michelle. I tasted one and no more.
            Jack next went to Kansas with Christie in 1981, and I went to Kansas two more times, for Thanksgiving in 1985, and two years later for his mother’s funeral. A few years later was Jack’s 30th high school reunion. Three of his friends called and wrote, urging him to go. I urged to him to go—I wanted to meet some of the people he’d been telling me stories about for years. But he was adamant. He was not going back to Kansas. And then he confessed that he’d been telling his family that the reason he didn’t come back to Kansas more often was because I didn’t want to go. I was so angry. I would have been happy to travel to Kansas, but Jack was lying about me to excuse his own desire to never return to that state.
            He never went back for a high school reunion. But he did go back to Kansas a couple more times, after his older brother was diagnosed with lung cancer, and then his sister was diagnosed with cancer. He didn’t go back for their funerals. He cared about living people.
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April’s writing challenge is to blog every day, with each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet from beginning to end. We skip Sundays, except for April 1, so as to have 26 days in the month.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Blogging A-Z: I Is for Imagination


            Jack used his imagination to keep himself from being bored. At the gym, he would tell himself stories, usually stories that happened to him or that he knew about other people. But he would improve the stories, make them more intriguing, more humorous, more dramatic. Sometimes he would play with these stories from his life so much that, he said, he sometimes couldn’t remember which was what really happened, and which was the embellished version.
            I often suggested he write his stories, but he never did. That, I believe he thought, would turn it into work. He has always written for pay. Writing for the fun of it, which I do a lot, did not appeal to him. So his stories exist now only in the e-mails he exchanged with friends and family. He engaged his imagination in choice of words, in choice of detail, rather than in making things up. Mostly.
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April’s writing challenge is to blog every day, with each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet from beginning to end. We skip Sundays, except for April 1, so as to have 26 days in the month.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Blogging: H Is for Harrisburg


            Jack liked making enigmatic comments, especially when he was drinking. Occasionally, he’d say he was thinking of going on a three-day bat in Harrisburg. Maybe this came from some book he read.
            Some years after he stopped drinking, he started saying, “I’m thinking of doing something irrevocable.” He was feeling bogged down in his life. I can still see him sitting at the other end of the couch, looking slightly desperate. We weren’t have any more difficulties than usual, yet his comment made me very nervous. This may have been when I opened another savings account that I didn’t tell him about. Just in case.
            But the irrevocable thing that happened was his blood-clotting disorder. Not what he had in mind. And I never asked him afterward what he’d been thinking when he made that cryptic statement.  
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April’s writing challenge is to blog every day, with each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet from beginning to end. We skip Sundays, except for April 1, so as to have 26 days in the month.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Blogging A-Z: G Is for Gym


            Jack went to the gym almost every day for the last 30 years of his life.
            He wasn’t particularly athletic when we first met, sometimes joking that the most exercise he got was lifting his glass-holding hand to his lips. But a few years after we moved to New York, we decided to learn to ride bikes. Mostly we biked around Central Park or Riverside Park; this was long before bike lanes, and biking on city streets faced hazards from both moving and stationary vehicles.
            We always walked a lot, well, at least Jack walked a lot. He sometimes told the story about walking to school as a teenager. Because he didn’t have a car, he was embarrassed about walking, and later found out that students admired him for walking. We walked around the neighborhood, but also in Riverside Park, down along the river and back.
            Especially in the summertime, with a cool breeze off the water, this was fun. A few times we walked across the George Washington Bridge and into Palisades Park, once climbing down giant rocks to near the river. Another time we took the ferry to Staten Island and walked eight miles to Richmondtown.
            In the ’70s, Jack took up running. At first he ran along the outside of Riverside Park. Then he discovered the track down in the park near 72nd Street. That was his favorite. I tried running, too, but soon I had to tape my ankles, and after another year or so, I was taping my knees. And since I could never make myself run farther than a mile and a quarter, I went back to the long exercise walk.
            When I started teaching at NYU and got a family membership to the gym, Jack took to it immediately. No longer did the weather stand in the way of getting his endorphin hit. When it looked like I wouldn’t get tenure, he searched around and found the West Side YMCA. He’d taken Christie there for swimming lessons years earlier, and the gym and locker rooms had been considerably refurbished since.
            He loved the Y. He rode the stationary bike long before there were TV screens for distraction, for an hour at least. He had friends there, both men and women. He’d bring home stories, most of which I’ve forgotten. Sometimes he tried the weight machines, but mostly he just wanted to bike. Even after his blood-clotting disorder, he missed a few months, but was back as soon as he could.
            His fall, however, stopped him. He never went back to the gym, and it was never clear whether he was embarrassed about how feeble he had become or simply didn’t want to talk about what happened. He went to physical therapy and kept up his exercises at home. I bought him weights to help. I also kept renewing our family membership, even though I wasn’t going as regularly as I should have. I did tell Zaida, who worked at the “towel-desk” and always asked after him when he died.
            Ever since, I’ve had mixed feelings about the Y. I keep going back, much more regularly now, but there’s hardly anyone left who knew Jack and knew that he and I were together. The Y is one of the most diverse places I spend time, which is important to me. But will I continue to go there, or find another gym or health club? I don’t know. 
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April’s writing challenge is to blog every day, with each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet from beginning to end. We skip Sundays, except for April 1, so as to have 26 days in the month.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Blogging A-Z: F Is for Flying


            I first flew in a plane when I was 19, in 1961. I was going to my second Antioch College co-op job, in Los Angeles. In those days, there was something called “student standby”: if you had a student ID, you could show up at the airport two hours before a scheduled takeoff, and if there was a seat available, you got it for some discount. (This was before deregulation, and flights routinely had empty seats.)
            I was at the airport before 6 a.m. and got on an 8 a.m. flight. Not a particularly adventurous person, I expected to be nervous: inside this metal cannister, tens of thousands of feet in the air. But once inside the plane, buckled into my seat, and staring out the window at puffy clouds and the green and brown earth below, I felt serenely safe. The flight was smooth, and I couldn’t help feeling that my jet was attached by a firm pole to a truck on a highway below. Of course I knew this wasn’t true, but it felt like it could be true. I’ve loved flying ever since, especially that moment when the airplane that’s been lumbering along the runway gracefully lifts off and the ground falls away.
            Jack took his first plane ride, with me, a few years after this. We were on a shuttle flight to Boston before switching to a tiny DC-3 to Montpelier, Vermont. Jack thought he would be nervous, and he was very nervous. He had to have a drink before we boarded, and another as soon as the refreshments were wheeled around. After a few more flights with Jack, his nervousness became contagious; I tried not to be as nervous as he was, but it was hard.
            As the years went by, Jack became somewhat less nervous, but I found it easier to fly without him.
            He did come up with one of his classic teases on a flight to his home in Kansas with our daughter when she was about eight. Looking down at all the lights as we flew over Cleveland, Jack said, “ Look down there. It’s a light-bulb farm.” Christie glanced out the window, gave him a quizzical look, and replied, “That’s just another one of your lies.”
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April’s writing challenge is to blog every day, with each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet from beginning to end. We skip Sundays, except for April 1, so as to have 26 days in the month.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Blogging A-Z: E Is for Editing


            I’ve been a copy editor for decades. When Jack was laid off from his reporter’s job after Rupert Murdoch bought the New York Post, one of his drinking buddies was a production editor at McGraw-Hill. She offered him copy editing work on textbooks, so I taught him how to be a copy editor.
            I taught him the way I learned, through the Chicago Manual of Style. Jack was an excellent writer and knew how to turn poor writing into good, but he needed guidance in explaining why he made grammar changes, and he needed to learn to pay attention to formatting (marking
heads, subheads, or sub-subheads, for example), as well as keeping track of proper names and their spellings, among many other details.
            He became good enough at this work that after a few years he was able to get a job on the copy desk at Business Week magazine. And he ended up working there much longer than he worked as a reporter. Not only that, we had frequent discussions verging on arguments on copy editing issues at the dinner table, which our school-age daughter found weird—but she was listening. As a grownup librarian today, she often e-mails me to ask whether a sentence she’s read in a book or a newspaper is grammatically correct.
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April’s writing challenge is to blog every day, with each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet from beginning to end. We skip Sundays, except for April 1, so as to have 26 days in the month.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Blogging A-Z: D Is for D.C.


     Jack and I met in Washington, D.C. I was living in a communal house, what later came to be called a commune but we called a co-op, having dropped out of Antioch College as the quintessential dropout, a second-year humanities student. Jack had left home in Wichita after his father died, to fight for civil rights and revolution, against racism and war, and came to Washington because a high school classmate was a student at George Washington University.
  Jack moved into a rooming house and got a job as a waiter at a lunch place on Capitol Hill. He hung around the university on his free time, and one day, while looking at the apartment listings in the student union, someone told him about this house up near Dupont Circle. He met the resident manager of our building, a grad student at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and moved in.
    No one knew the person who had recommended us to Jack, which made some of our more paranoid residents suspicious. "He must be an FBI agent," said W. Why? He's from Kansas. He has blond hair. But he had a job and could pay one-sixth of the rent for our house, and we'd all moved in thinking we'd be one of six, and there'd been only five of us for a few months.
        I wasn't interested in Jack at first. The man I wanted was our resident manager, but he wasn't interested in me. Besides, Jack was cynical and caustic, with a judgment about everyone and everything. 
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April’s writing challenge is to blog every day, with each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet from beginning to end. We skip Sundays, except for April 1, so as to have 26 days in the month.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

SOLTuesday: The Blogging A-Z Challenge


            Here’s my April writing challenge. I didn’t know I had to sign up in advance, so I’m not officially in it. But I’m going to post as though I am anyway.
            The idea is to post every day on a subject starting with a letter of the alphabet in order from A to Z. Since each month has more than 26 days, we skip Sunday, but this month we start on a Sunday, since it’s April 1.
            My posts so far, and today I wrote the letter C:
A Is for Aimless
B Is for Bereavement
C Is for Coldwater (that’s the town in Kansas where my husband was born)
My theme is my late husband, our life together, memories. If you’d like, you can follow these daily posts here.
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It’s Slice of Life Tuesday over at Two Writing Teachers. Check out this encouraging and enthusiastic writing community and their slices of life every Tuesday. And add one of your own.

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Blogging A-Z: C Is for Coldwater


            Jack was born in Coldwater, Kansas, a town of about 1,200 people in the south-central part of the state, a few months after Pearl Harbor. The town is in Comanche County, which borders Oklahoma. Jack’s parents, and 6-year-old brother and 8-year-old sister, lived in their own house on Jack’s grandfather’s ranch. His grandfather bought baby calves, fattened them up, and drove them north to sell.
            Coldwater was what is known as a “sunset” town, i.e., it had a sign at the town limit with
this message: “N*****, don’t let the sun set on your black head in Coldwater.” That sign still existed into the mid-1950s, when Jack came to visit his grandparents on “the farm.” Other towns in the county are Protection and Buttermilk. Coldwater now has a population a bit over 800, Protection about 500, and Buttermilk barely exists any more.
            Jack’s father, Lawrence, worked for his father, but their relationship was strained; one year, Lawrence failed to return home immediately after selling the cattle because he was drinking up much of the money. By 1944, he moved his family up to Wichita, where he’d started working at Boeing, which was churning out warplanes, and the family lived in a war-time housing community called Planeview.  
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April’s writing challenge is to blog every day, with each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet from beginning to end. We skip Sundays, except for April 1, so as to have 26 days in the month.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Blogging A-Z: B Is for Bereavement


            Merriam-Webster defines “bereave” as “to deprive of something,” as “bereavement” as “the state of being bereaved or deprived.” These are rather bloodless definitions for what is often meant by “bereavement,” which is the loss of a loved person to death.
            I’ve been going to a bereavement group for two years, since the death of my husband. We
were together for 52 years, pretty much all of our adult lives. Jack was six weeks older than me, but since June 4, 2016, I will always be older than he will ever be. I am still learning how to be an adult on my own.
            The bereavement group consists of a group of women and men who have all recently lost a spouse, partner, or, in my group, a parent. Even though our circumstances vary, sometimes dramatically, we all share this one experience of loss. It’s an experience you don’t really understand unless or until you find yourself in it.
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April’s writing challenge is to blog every day, with each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet from beginning to end. We skip Sundays, except for April 1, so as to have 26 days in the month.

Blogging A-Z: A Is for Aimless


            April’s writing challenge is to blog every day, with each post beginning with a letter of the alphabet from beginning to end. We skip Sundays, so as to have 26 days of the month, except to do that we have to start on April 1. I’m a day behind, so I’ll post twice today.
            Aimless is still how I am feeling much of the time. When I have freelance work to do, or a lunch or dinner engagement with a friend, or one of my many groups in the evening, I tend to focus on those. But there is usually time “in between,” when I would have been talking to Jack, or we would have been going to the movies, or wandering around town (before he fell) or the neighborhood (after he fell).
            I’m not an astrology person, but I can’t help noticing that I am a classic Gemini, finding it hard to make up my mind between sometimes opposing tracks, or simply having too many interests to settle on one. Jack gave me structure, and now he’s gone—so I have to find, to make my own structure. It’s not easy.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

SOLSC: Fifty Years Ago Today...


            This slice happened on this day, but 50 years ago.
            Jack and I had just bought our first television—he was writing short profiles for the New York Post of TV actors, and without our own television, he had no idea who they were.
            Radio news was reporting that the president was going to give an address to the nation this evening. We thought it probably had something to do with the Vietnam War, and since we’d been demonstrating against the war for years, we decided to boycott LBJ’s speech. But we weren’t going to just ignore it. No, we had to make a statement.
            We turned on the TV, but turned off the sound. And we made love, not war on the living room floor in front of the TV.
            Not until the next morning, when we bought the paper on the way to work, did we learn that LBJ had announced he was not going to run for re-election. We antiwar protesters had chased him out, we thought, though it was more likely the New Hampshire primary three weeks earlier, when Eugene McCarthy had gotten 42% to LBJ’s 49%. I recorded the Announcement in my datebook, and two days later, in the Wisconsin primary, McCarthy got 57%, LBJ 35%, and Bobby Kennedy got a write-in vote of 6%.
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 I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 31 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Friday, March 30, 2018

SOLSC: Tax Day


            Today I met with my tax accountant at H&R Block. I brought all my documents and notes on expenses. TA methodically went through all my 401(k), pension, and freelance forms, and I must have had everything because he didn’t have to ask me for anything, like he did a couple of years ago, when a former employer had failed to inform the new 401(k) administrating company that one former employee (me) was required to take the minimum distribution. (That was a hassle and a half.)
            This time everything went smoothly, if slowly. I had to decide whether I wanted my state
refund direct deposited or sent to me as a check. There was a small penalty deducted from my also small federal refund, and TA spent quite a while trying to figure out what the penalty was for. If he found out, he didn’t tell me, and I didn’t ask. (I wanted to be done.)
            Finally, he printed out the whole return, still to be submitted electronically, as well as the vouchers for my estimated taxes and the address slips. He picked up scissors and announced, “I will now use a skill I learned in kindergarten.” Which meant he cut off all the excess paper from the address slips and vouchers, and placed each set in an envelope—so I wouldn’t have to do that myself.
            We had a brief conversation about how useful kindergarten is, not only for teaching how to use scissors but also for socializing and teaching how to work well with others. I said, “When I was in kindergarten, my teacher wanted me to tell the boy who sat next to me not to stand on his chair to look out the window.” She was trying to socialize me into the feminine role of making others obey the rules.
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I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 30 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Thursday, March 29, 2018

SOLSC: Baseball!

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            The baseball season opened today—oddly, in the middle of the week, and in late March, not Monday or Sunday night in the first week of April.
            I watched the New York Mets single and double against the St. Louis Cardinals, beating them 9-4. Not one home run, and that’s a good thing. Noah Syndergaard did give up two home runs, but he also struck out 10, including striking out the side in the third inning, which was part of a five-strikeout string.
            It’s not unheard of for the Mets to win on opening day. The team lost its opener its first eight years; in fact, the Mets won the World Series, in 1969, before it won an opening day game. But since 1969, the team has won 35 and lost only 12 of its openers.
            I loved watching all the old familiar players (Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Asdrubel Cabrera), young guys (Brendon Nimmo, Amed Rosario), and new ones (Adrian Gonzalez, Todd Frazier) play well together and produce. I do wish they hadn’t left so many runners on base, but they certainly scored enough runs. I’m looking forward to spring, summer, and fall—the long season.
            Are you a baseball fan? Do you go to games?
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I’m participating in the 10th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 29 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

SOLSC: Weird Things


            While I was in New Orleans early this month, I visited Faulkner House Books. It’s located in a building that was a rooming house in the 1920s, and William Faulkner actually lived there when he wrote his first novel, Soldier’s Pay.
            Of course, I had to buy a book. When I saw Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores, I had to have it. My daughter is a librarian, and customers (that’s what they’re called in libraries these days, not patrons) in libraries also say weird things.
            Here are a couple of weird things customers have said in bookstores.
            1. “Can I return this book? I’m allergic to ink.”
            2, “My best friend came in here last weekend and bought a book, and she really loved it. Do you have another copy? I don’t remember the title.”
            3. “Did Charles Dickens ever write anything fun?”
            Then there was the customer who wanted to know what the second title in the Harry Potter series was because he (or she) had found that first books in a series took a while to get into and she (or he) didn’t want to waste time on the “useless introductory stuff.” After buying the second title, the customer came in a week later to complain that this book was far too confusing and how could children be expected to understand it.
            Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores was put together by Jen Campbell, a bookseller in England, who started posting these weird things on her blog (jen-campbell.blogspot.com). Once Neil Gaiman found it and posted about it, she got lots more comments from other booksellers, as well as interest from a U.K. publisher. Overlook Press has published it in the U.S. If you want a copy, go to your local independent bookstore—please.
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I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 28 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

SOLSC: Russian Mammogram


            Today was my annual mammogram. Julia, the technician, was, of course, Russian. Not that all radiology technicians at this clinic are Russian, but many are.
            Julia admired my pink bangs, then marveled that I didn’t look 75. “Good genes” is my usual response, and I added, “and oily skin.” She had an accent, so I asked if she was from Russia (years ago, I helped start a nonprofit supporting women activists in the former communist countries, so aware of different east European accents). Yes, she said, from St. Petersburg. Julia still has cousins there, and they are doing very well. Not everyone in Russia is poor, she added. She sounded proud of that, so I didn’t ask what she or her relatives thought of Putin.
            I mentioned that my grandparents all came from what was then Russia. Julia was impressed, then asked hesitantly if I was Jewish; she wasn’t sure because I had fair skin and light (green) eyes. Julia had brown hair and brown eyes, and said her mother was Jewish and had married a Jewish man, but her mother’s sister married a Russian and her cousins were blond and blue-eyed. And, Julia said, she’d been discriminated against because she didn’t look “Russian.”
            She’d had a Russian boyfriend here in the States who’d wanted her to dye her hair blonde, and she had refused. “If I wanted to do that, I’d do it,” she emphasized, “but I wasn’t going to do it for him.” And she gleefully reported that this ex-boyfriend brought back from Russia a blonde woman who proceeded to “screw” him legally and financially. We both agreed that the “dumb blonde” stereotype was a stupid stereotype. Her mother was blonde who’d been an engineer and supervised 1,000 men, so clearly, the stereotype did not apply.
            I enjoy this kind of conversations when having to go through the intimate, and also very uncomfortable, experience of the mammogram. The choreography of squeezing my breasts flat, positioning one arm just so, keeping my chin up, and holding my breath feels like a bit of stationary dance.
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I’m participating in the 11th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 27 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!