BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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Feeling Famous in South America

Disclaimer: I am NOT famous in South America or anywhere else.

ci_southamericamapIn spite of the disclaimer above, I’m feeling pretty much like a blogging superstar, South American style. Why? Because the little map that shows me where my blog visitors hail from has most of South America colored in today. What does that mean? Not a whole lot.

What it means is that at least one person in Brazil and at least one person in Argentina happened to click on BulgingButtons on the very same day. Since Brazil and Argentina are the two largest countries in South America, it looks like I’m pretty popular across the continent.

Add that to the inflated ego I get when at least one person in Canada clicks on the blog. After all, the U.S. is pretty much a given, so throw Canada into the mix and North America is well represented. And if Russia shows up? Wow. Just, wow.

It’s all complete nonsense, but part of the fun of blogging is reaching out to a worldwide audience. I don’t know if there are actual people in South America reading, or if they’re bots, but I like to think that they’re people like me who enjoy an entertaining blog now and then.

I don’t write to grow a large audience, or to get tons of international hits. I write because there are words and ideas inside of me that need somewhere to go. Still, if you show me a world map with lots of countries colored in, I’m going to get excited. After all, I’m a superstar.


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Ten Things You Didn’t Know About My Dad

Of course this is silly, since you don’t know anything about my dad. Still he was a very interesting guy and I could write a few volumes just about him. Here, though, are ten small bits of him.

1. He graduated from the University of Michigan, pre-med, in three years instead of four.

2. He had tons of quotes he would spout off, all the time. There was something for virtually every occasion. Toward the end of his life one of his favorites was, “give time, time.” Huh?the thing about smart people is that they seem crazy to dumb people

3. He took us to Israel when I was a kid and he brought back a shofar (ram’s horn) that he would sound at the Jewish High Holy Days. My brother has the shofar and continues the tradition.

4. He would wake up very early in the morning and read, mostly non-fiction. He had volumes and volumes of books on art, history, religion, anthropology, etc. They are all annotated with his underlines and comments, and many of them have accompanying articles tucked inside. He would correspond with authors and public figures too, and this was long before the internet.

5. He would cross the bridge to Canada to eat a burger because he didn’t want anyone to see him and report back to my mother about his indulgence.

6. He warned my brother that he might get cancer after purchasing a house near a radio tower. Sadly, it was my dad who got cancer.

7. My dad’s primary site for his cancer was in his brain. He was given a three month prognosis. He died seven years later. Long enough to walk me down the aisle. Long enough to meet my son.

8. It rained on the morning of my wedding. The venue called to say they were moving the ceremony inside. My father said no. He insisted that they stick to the original plan. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding, just as I had envisioned.

9. My dad’s mother lived a very long life. Up until the end she lived independently. My dad would often visit her and take a nap on her couch.

10. The last thing my dad said to me as he lay dying, robbed of most speech by Parkinson’s Disease, was, “I love you.”


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Walking My Feet Off in Canada

DSC00061I’m on holiday with my teenage son and my mother, who is obviously a generation older than I am. She is a dynamo. She takes us on a trip once a year to interesting locales full of cultural sites and other points of interest. Together the three of us have visited New York, Boston, and New York again. Our current trip finds us in beautiful Toronto, Ontario.

These trips are invariably short, generally three days, two nights. This one is the same. In a way, I’m glad, because I don’t think I could keep up with my mother for much longer. She starts the day early, while my son and I are still in bed. It’s the time change, mostly, but she would be up ahead of us even if we weren’t three hours behind her.

DSC00136_2Then, after we finally gear up, it’s off to the sights. We generally walk or take public transportation. None of us was raised on public transportation, so for us it’s truly challenging. Especially for me, since I usually am the one left to figure it out. I’m finding Toronto’s system more difficult than either New York or Boston, even though it doesn’t seem as extensive.

Last night the woman at the traveler’s aid desk in the train station (I kid you not, this exists) was clearly so lonely that she talked our ears off for half an hour. I still had no idea how to take the train (or the bus). We walked. It was a beautiful evening, and everyone assures me Toronto is a safe city. I’m glad, because it’s time to head out again. My poor tired feet are killing me.