Tag: October Surprise

My October Surprise

 

So. Last week I had to pop into Rami Levy’s to do some shopping. Rami Levy is, first of all, an important businessman in Israel, but “Rami Levy” refers to the chain of supermarkets he owns. They are popular for several reasons, notably lower prices on many goods, a quality house brand, and, although I know that tastes in coffee are rather personal, I find his coffee importer to know his (or her) stuff and Viva Italia! The stores also stock an enormous variety of products, keep the place very clean, and offer cell phone accounts, including “kosher phones” for those who want to avoid the internet.

 

Member Post

 

For Halloween, I bring back a tale told a year ago. Lights out, gather round for a tale well calculated to keep you in suspense. Pleasant dreams. It was a dark and stormy night. The snow fell heavily – except at occasional intervals, when it was driven sideways by a violent gust of wind which […]

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Member Post

 

I don’t remember when I was surprised by October.  I’m guessing it wasn’t even October when I was surprised and it wasn’t a startling surprise, but more of a something-is-wrong here surprise.  The wrong thing was October starts with octo, which I had learned meant eight, which could have been around the same time that […]

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Surprises, Start to Finish

 

Country Western Music Clipart ImageIt may come as a surprise to some of you (but perhaps not to others), that I — a high-toned Brit raised in West Africa — have a serious weakness for American music of the sort that used to be known as country and western. (My affection doesn’t extend much beyond that, and certainly not to the over-amped, multitrack, increasingly woke pap and purveyors of such that have infected the modern oeuvre.)

No: I’ll take Patsy. The Carters. Hank. Loretta. Johnny. Tammy. Willie. Kitty. Dolly. Randy. June. Tom T. Cal. And so on. I suggest you don’t test me. I can prose on for hours. I also realize that some of my heroes cross musical boundaries. And that’s fine. I’m not a purist, other than in my search for some sort of authenticity in the sound and the sentiment.

By extension, I ♥ Bluegrass. The rawer, the better. One of my favorite tapes (and it is a tape; I should probably digitize it in case it breaks one day) is one that a friend of Mr. She gave us many years ago, a montage of his favorite performances from some local bluegrass festivals he and his wife had attended over the years. I have no idea who many of these lads and lasses (some in their dotage, and many of them, I’m sure, dead by now) are, but they’re awesome!

Group Writing: Surprising Wedding Vows

 

When I was young and imagined myself being married, I didn’t stop to think about the kind of vows my beloved and I would recite. As a rule, people didn’t write their own vows; they relied on the officiant to recite the ceremony and for the couple to reply with simple, “I dos.” Even today I wouldn’t want to write my own vows; it makes me nervous just thinking about it, and I’m a public speaker! But I have three situations where wedding vows were involved, and all of them had a significant impact on me.

The first situation must have been 50 years ago when a family friend who was about my age and Jewish married a Catholic man. Back then, intermarriage was beginning to increase, and since her family was not very religious, I don’t remember there being a big deal made of it. At the ceremony, however, I was surprised and stunned to hear them recite their vows. I didn’t know exactly how they were going to make their vows to each other, given their two religions, but I heard both of them take their vows “in the name of Jesus Christ.” They had a minister perform the ceremony and he had agreed to offer two different sets of vows, but he fell into his usual wedding pattern—and forgot his promise. Oh well. I don’t know how many people heard it or cared, but as a teenager, I was already conflicted due to the mixed marriage and felt chagrined and embarrassed by his error. I’m sure he felt uncomfortable, too.

The next time I was faced with the question of wedding vows was when I was engaged to my current husband, who was raised Catholic but wasn’t practicing. I knew my parents wouldn’t be thrilled with my marrying a gentile, but he was a wonderful man and I wanted to marry him. I had heard nice things about a Conservative Jewish rabbi and thought I would ask him if he would marry us. When I told him our situation, it wasn’t enough for him to politely say “no”; he was outraged that I would even ask him. I guess I was pretty naïve, at least not anticipating that he might say “no;” I didn’t expect him to take it as a personal affront. Naturally, I was once again embarrassed and wondering what to do next.

Surprise Meetups

 

It is surprising how many times I have met up with famous and semi-famous people in a very casual and unintended way. Several times, I didn’t even know who the people were until they introduced themselves, or someone who had witnessed the encounter told me with whom I’d been chatting.

Meetup No. 1

Member Post

 

Each month Ricochet has two group writing projects, intended to encourage the widest possible member participation. This October’s theme is October Surprise. You are invited to play off of “surprise,” “October,” or both. There are many ways this might play out. I have been the chief cat herder for the theme writing project for the past couple years. By way of exhorting […]

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October Surprise: Giving the Gift of Color

 

Back in November 2018, as I wandered the trails of a local nature preserve on Long Island with my dog, I was enjoying the fading colors of fall when a bend in the trail led to a blaze of red peeking through the tall trees.

How beautiful, I thought, and how blessed I am that I am here on this magnificent fall day and able to see this. Not everyone in my family can, as red-green color blindness runs through the males on my mother’s side. I thought of my brother and how I wished he could see this. I mean actually see it if he were here because he often mistakes red and green for brown. That led me to remember a story I had read a few months back about glasses that could correct for red-green color blindness. The special lenses help the retinal cells to separate between these two wavelengths, compensating in part for defective genes that make it difficult to tell these colors apart. Wow, I thought. I have the perfect Christmas gift: I’ll give my brother the gift of color! What could be better than that?

I went online when I got home and did some research. Yes, these glasses exist and are available. I was led to many YouTube videos of people sobbing with joy when seeing the colors of the world for the first time. I did a little more reading, and it turned out that these glasses don’t work for everyone, so that was a worry, as they weren’t cheap. But then there was a moving story of a young boy who put them on and was very disappointed that he didn’t see anything different. Then his mother noticed that he had stopped to look at an orange toy. He said it was glowing. All of sudden, his world burst into color, and he was overwhelmed with joy. I thought it was worth taking a chance.

Unbearable Surprise

 

charmin bearsI have been the chief cat herder for the theme writing project for the past few years. By way of exhorting and occasionally extorting participation, I have been known to threaten to fill white space with posts featuring bears, disco, or even disco bears. From time to time, I must make good on these threats, just to maintain a bit of credibility. Well folks, you’ve gone and done it. You’ve driven me to the bears. It being October, I am reposting a 2018 story with a haunting question. Quick! Go sign up to fill the rest of this month’s roster for “October Surprise.”

Advertising for products dealing with our bodily functions predates radio and television, as Kellogg’s built an eventual corporate empire on “healthy” food centered on bowel regularity. Indeed, Kellogg’s followed the success of Cascaret’s sweet-flavored lozenge, advertised as a palatable alternative to castor oil.

But around 1900, Americans didn’t just associate constipation with abdominal discomfort or gas or indigestion. Constipation for our great-grandparents was the root evil of just about every ailment and malaise you could think of. And for whatever was wrong with you, a laxative (or purgative or cathartic–the terms were used pretty interchangeably) would do the trick.

October Surprise: Red October

 

Omarova Commie ComptrollerSurely someone in the Biden regime is trolling us all; nominating an unreformed communist as Comptroller of the Currency. Yet, this is neither an Onion nor a Babylon Bee story. Rather the Wall Street Journal editorial board cleared its collective throat to protest profusely. Still, trust but verify—too easy, the public record is clear and chilling. What is the Comptroller of the Currency, who is Saule Omarova, and why should you care? In short: a key position controlling our banking system, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union who believes the USSR centrally planned and controlled economy was better, fairer, more “democratic,” than the American economy, and the Democrats want to seize your checking and savings account.

I rolled my eyes until I read Omarova’s 2020 academic paper, a law review article, “The People’s Ledger: How to Democratize Money and Finance the Economy.” Yes, comrade the Democratic People’s Party choice for Comptroller of the Currency wants to seize your checking and savings account. How did we get here, and how did she get here?

The Comptroller of the Currency leads an office within the Treasury Department. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was created by Congress in 1863, during the American Civil War, for the purpose of overseeing the creation and operation of national banks and a national currency. Today, the OCC is closely connected with the operation of the largest banks in America.

Member Post

 

This October’s group writing theme is October Surprise. You are invited to play off of “surprise,” “October,” or both. There are many ways this might play out. As customary, hereafter find a little music to set the mood or spark some creative responses. We start in the folk genre with “October Song:” Preview Open

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Member Post

 

This October’s theme is October Surprise. You are invited to play off of “surprise,” “October,” or both. There are many ways this might play out. Consider some of the ways this topic could go: Share some photographs or a word picture of the changing of the seasons. Preview Open

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