OK, so my recovery disk has arrived for my home computer and I'm hoping that Gerry can get everything fixed tonight. That means this should be my last entry NOT posted from home. In this entry I mostly just wanted to post some pictures and links to some interesting articles.
On rare occasions (as I did today) I walk over there at lunch time because it is so peaceful inside.
Again, I will refrain from any political diatribes since I'm not posting this from home. I will say that this morning was particularly egregious in terms of newspaper headlines, especially POLITICO, the distilled nihilistic essence of everything wrong with horse trading insider journalism where the playing field is always rigged for the GOP to win (it's the worst of The Washington Post / "Meet the Press" political reporting where Republican politicians are always running amok, corporate power is forever increasing unchecked, the public is completely clueless, and Dems are forever "in disarray", and the world is reduced to a truly ugly Amoral Flatland).
Everytime I'm there I think of that Golden Girls line where Sophia -- on her way to bingo at church -- says, "Now if you'll excuse me, there's a weed wacker at St. Dominic's with my name on it!"
Anyway, in this entry I will discuss / link to some interesting articles from The New York Times.
The New York Times Magazine has a nearly 8,300 word conversation-stopper about the life of Lori Berenson focusing on her difficult life in Peru following her 15 years imprisonment in an isolated prison high in the Andes Mountains, as she raises a young son in Lima as a single mom and waits the remaining 5 years on parole before she can finally get the hell out of Peru and return to the U.S.
For her role -- whatever it actually amounted to -- in helping the Maoist Shining Path guerrillas, not only has she lost any normal life she ever would have had but she is widely and venomously despised by many Peruvians.
Here is a montage of images of Lori, her parents, her son (Salvadore), her lawyer, and the father of her son. The most troubling one is the top right one -- taken upon her conviction in 1996 by a hooded tribunal when she started screaming at the assembled reporters. Well do I remember that image in a Washington Post Style section article that had a headline to the effect "far away from home in VERY BIG trouble".
Here she is at one of per periodic parole hearings in Jan. 2011. She could be sent back to prison to finish out her term at any time.
Frank Buckles, Last World War I Doughboy, Dies at 110
Buckles in 1917 at the age of 16 and in 2008 at the age of 108 -- or 91 years apart.
Frank Buckles, the last known American World War I veteran (or "Doughboy") has died at the age of 110. Buckles, born Feb. 1, 1901* in Bethany, Missouri, lied about his age to enlist in Aug. 1917. He made it to France but never actually saw combat.
I had actually thought the last American WWI vet had died a few years ago (I distinctly remember stories about that but I can't recall the name). Perhaps that was the last combat WWI vet.
There are now only two known World War I survivors remaining in the world. Quoting from the New York Times article: "Claude Choules, who served in Britain’s Royal Navy and now lives in Australia, and Florence Green, a member of Britain’s Women’s Royal Air Force and who lives in England, are thought to be the only two people still living who served in any capacity in the war."
Amazing. Full story here.
*If he had been born 32 days earlier on Dec. 31, 1900, he would have technically been in the 19th Century (since centuries begin on the "01" year since -- ALL TOGETHER NOW -- THERE WAS NO YEAR ZERO!) and his life would touched THREE centuries. (Come to think of it, he was at least ALIVE inside his mother for over half of the year 1900.)
Jane Russell, Sultry Hollywood Actress of the 1940s and 1950s, dies at 89
As if on cue linking World War I's last surviving Doughboy and one of the great and glamorous World War II era Hollywood stars, Jane Russell has died at age 89.
Her New York Times obitutary is here. I actually remember her 1970s "full figured gals" Playtex bra commercials.
I've mentioned before my strange and probably silly idea that I actually lived a previous life ... born on a farm in Iowa in 1923 ... went off to World War II in early 1942 at barely 18 years of age ...
... and was killed at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, or somewhere in the South Pacific around that time. I was gay then, too, only that concept really didn't exist then per se and it didn't define a whole existence.
And, as it were, it worked out well a few times on some stunning South Pacific beach (or maybe on the deck of a destroyer) beneath the vast and wonderful night sky of the tropical latitudes near or just below the Equator ... Canopus, the Magellanic Clouds, Vela, the Southern Cross ...
Told you it was romantic and silly.
So what did I do that was so bad to end up in such a vicious and empty time as Washington, D.C., early 21st Century??
Wait, we're not going to go down that road right now.
The gray blue dusky sky above The Ellington condos at the corner of 13th and U Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 6:10PM, March 1, 2011.
I took this picture because a high-flying passenger jet still bathed in an eerie orange sunlight from the Sun (which was already set from the ground) was about to cross nearly over Washington, D.C., on a somewhat unusual path. Typically, these jets go northeast - southwest and pass about 20 miles to the NW of the city on a well-traveled jet route.
A few minutes later, I watched from 14th and U as the contrail from the receding jet approaching (or rather, from my perspective appearing to approach) the star Sirius -- visible already in the deepening gray blue dusk off to the southeast. Sirius is prominently visible shortly after nightfall this time of year.
OK, I think that's all for now. I really hope my next update will be from my functional home computer.