Alexis (aka Ayla) Believes She is in Paradise; Act Like a Narcissist Is Remedy to Over Empathizing; Conversations with Garbage Collectors, Shalom; Getting Teased by Freddie; Son Not Named for Monterey Jack Cheese; Early Bird Get the Worm Explored and Examined: Avoid a Book Passage Lecture on How to Complete a Book; A Funny From Computer Guru; Alexis Pictured Under a Dryburgh Crescent Sign

Recent blogs have taken on the world, illustrating the evil that exists in Israel and in Canada – the suffering which never seems to end in Palestine and the never-ending persecution of the Indigenous population in Canada. Canada is also a hot bed of Islamophobia as recently proven by the killing of a Muslim family in London, Ontario. More comments will be made about that horrendous plight in a subsequent blog.

I suffer from a massive heap of empathy which has gotten me in trouble my whole life. Wise Man has taught be how to curb some of it – I am to act like a narcissist, and constantly say to myself.
Alter Ego: What is in this relationship for me? What am I getting out of this?
Me: Oh yes! I am supposed to constantly be asking myself that.

So I was in pain about the mess that this world is in – not just the world in general but the country of my birth in particular. Had many conversations with myself, finally deciding that it was essential that I focus on matters close at hand – the ideal and perfect life presently gifted to me. COVID was a gift in a way – many optimists appreciate things that we took for granted before. To some of us life is more joyous than it was before March 15, 2020. I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without COVID – for example, I do think I would be living in the Middle East, it was heading in that direction. Instead I am back in Marin County two blocks from my Primary Care Physician, a short journey to Wise Man and the great fortune to be a member of the Pham Fantastic Family. But not only in the best location but also am surrounded by the greatest neighbors and staff members. There are, of course, some thorns in this bed of roses but it is possible to ignore them, to walk away and just ignore their misery and aggression. All of these are conversations that took place.

Magic occurs here. One puts their garbage in a bag and men come and collect it at night, after six. I spoke with two of these men, we laughed and laughed.
Me: Hello! I am so glad to see you. Most women get married to get a husband to take out the garbage.
He: Really, yes really!
Me: Well I did anyway, three times actually. But then you have this guy and women usually have to cook and clean and do their laundry and do other things that we shall not mention. But I do not have to do any of those things with you.
He: (laughingly) It is great to be of service, Ma’am.

Them, another day another man came to relieve me of my garbage.
He: You are my very favorite client my best of all of the people in this complex.
Me: Really??? My goodness there are 189 units here, Why am I your favorite.
He: Your bags are always tied up in the proper manner because of covid. Some people cannot be bothered.
Me: That is awful, how much effort does tying take?
He: And not only that they throw out broken glass without using any caution. I got a severe cut from that carelessness, look at this scar. You never do that.
Me: True, if I have broken glass I take it to the dumpster. You know, you made my day telling me that I am your favorite client. t! It makes me feel good about myself.
He: Well you made my day!
Me: Hope we can talk again soon.

Then this encounter. A young man had long curly hair, he was at the pool with his family.
Me: I love your hair! It reminds me of the Afros worn by Blacks in 1967 when I came to San Francisco. Summer of Love and all that.
We chatted, I introduced myself.
Me: What is your name?
He: Shalom
Me: Oh my goodness that means peace. So needed these days!
Shalom and I often greet one another. This took place yesterday.
Me: Hi Shalom how has your day been.
He: I am having a great day, a perfect day.
Me: I am too. My goodness we have so much in common. But you are a little young for me.
He: Yes, about fifty years.
Me: You are so making me laugh! Probably sixty actually, so you just gave me a compliment.

The maintenance man Freddie is the greatest guy – so efficient and friendly. He pointed to a flower on my porch.
He: Do not forget to water this.
Me: It is not real, it is a fake. Oh Freddie, you are teasing me!!
He: I am!
Me: I love it.

Shared the jacuzzi with a wonderful woman who has been living here for about four years. She and her husband moved to this location so that their son can go to high school – schools here are safe and inexpensive as they are public schools.
Me: What is your son’s name?
She: Monty, actually it is Monterey. We named him that because of fond memories we have of that town on the coast.
Me: That is great. I love different names, meaningful ones.
She: But one woman asked me if I named my name after the cheese. Can you believe that?
Me: Oh my goodness, how funny. You should have said yes and his middle name is Jack.
She: Now that is funny!
Me: Yeah I know. Silly things just come to me.

Then this morning my next door neighbor walked by, commenting.
He: Look at you. You are being an early bird again.
Me: Yes. You must be a worm.
He: What?
Me: Well early birds get the worm. And here you are!

That expression, its meaning and origins? “Being first improves the chances of success. The early bird gets the worm is a proverb which emphasizes the importance of starting something early to maximize the potential outcome. This English expression first appeared in a 1605 book of proverbs by William Camden.The idea behind the expression is that the birds that wake up the earliest have the best chance of catching a good meal, since no other birds have awoken to pick for worms.Likewise, people who arrive first have a better chance than those who arrive late.This phrase is so commonly used that it is even shortened to early bird on occasion. Small restaurants and diners will advertise early bird hours or rates to attract those people getting to work early.”

Now, aren’t you glad you read this blog? The things you learn are quite monumental. Do not think that my ‘teaching’ on the Palestine horrors or the Canadian atrocity solved anything so I might as well keep on entertaining you guys with my witticisms and research into idioms and words.

Here is another aspect to my fun life. I was on the patio preforming Ikebana. A wonderful woman came by, complimented me. Therefore, I had to tell her about taking Ikebana from a woman in Marinwood for twenty years.
She: The student has become the master.
Me: Oh my goodness, Thank You! It feels like I have as I am much more creative doing it on my own and I have this vast audience.
She: You do and we love what you do.
Me: It is so funny – I began flower arranging because my husband never gave me flowers. Now I am most grateful for that. He was Husband #3 and he is dead now. I spent all this money divorcing him but then he died. I just had to wait for awhile. But I can now say that I was married three times but I am a widow. It has more status than being a divorcee. Hahaha
She: That is true. Hahahaha

So here is something most strange and coincidental. I sent the accompanying photo to my Computer Guru. He emailed:
He: Ok, weather doesn’t look so great today 😉 xx
Me: You are SO funny!!! It was taken perhaps five or six years ago in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. I am standing under a Dryburgh Crescent sign – named for Uncle Dave. My cousin Faye lives on that street. I was there doing research for my Uncle Dave book. You will NEVER ever believe what is going on in my life. But of course it does not involve a man because of this Muslim stuff. This blog has led to so many strange encounters. I definitely will quote you on the blog. Hahahaha Alexis

But then this, also in my Inbox. It is from Book Passage, an independent book store just down the street. “Join Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month and Brooke Warner, Publisher of She Writes Press, and discover the five things they’ve learned about the essential mindsets that will help you get your book finished.” I just laughed and laughed.
Me: Well, do not waste your time going to a live lecture. Just stay home and write.
Alter Ego: Good Plan, Alexis
Me: Thanks! I have motivation from two rather unbelievable sources. Who needs help from a couple of publishers that have probably never written a book?

This blog was most enjoyable to write. The Islamic faith contains the following proviso. Allah gives people a gift – but if you are given a gift you are supposed to use it. Not just sit around thanking Allah but using the gift. My sense of humor and ability to bring joy and laughter is a gift. I am using it today by writing and use the gift of laughter and joy by cheering up worthy people who live here.

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