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Possessor of Paul Newman eyes. Author of many things straightforward and strange. Some of them appear here. “Women zai shuo ba” as the Mandarin say. Born 2016.
two shades of blue papercut design for the initial letter “A” with a tree and various birds plus a full moon behind the branches and a raccoon at bottom
two shades of blue papercut design for the initial letter “A” with a tree and various birds plus a full moon behind the branches and a raccoon at bottom
©Belinda Paterson

Like this hasn’t been done before…


The story of my stories

rows of standing, old fashioned yellow computer discs
rows of standing, old fashioned yellow computer discs
Photo by Jackson Emery on Unsplash

There is no proper and neat way to do this.

So one has to find the “best” way, one’s personal way around it until someone else does find the truly best way.

Of course, others claim to have found the best way…if you understand coding and computer science, which I do not. So, screw them. I know how to type and I am rapidly losing that function as well.

Therefore, as an aid for the two people and three canaries who might ever want to go back and read anything I’ve written, I’m arranging my work on MEDIUM in a way that makes it a slightly easier way to find…


Human Behavior

If you aren’t a baby, what is it for

very young kitten on its back being tickled
very young kitten on its back being tickled
Photo by ian Williams on Unsplash

Many years ago — but one might say not too many in human years — I saved a cat.

She was in terror. Not physical pain.

You can tell the difference with a cat. She was shivering. A calico kitten, no more than three or four weeks old, sitting under a dirty, badly used toilet in a run-down old, slummy housing unit just on the outskirts of the farming area where I lived and the town where people worked and shopped.

The other kittens, her brothers and sisters, milled about the one-room studio doing what kittens do. This one stared at the wall behind the dirty toilet. Shivering. …


Writing Life

After all, something must be said, finally

young woman under a tree reading
young woman under a tree reading
Photo by Marcos Gabarda on Unsplash

“One of the great functions of art is to help us imagine what it is like to be not ourselves, what it is like to be someone or something else, what it is like to live in another skin, what it is like to live in another body, and in that sense to surpass ourselves, to go out beyond ourselves.” — Adrienne Rich

I had a friend once (no, this is a true story, and not my story…well, of course it is MY story, but it really is about my friend…). His name was Jim. He was well-educated and well-read…


History

A smorgasbord of memory and geography

golden valley with low mountains in background and winding river
golden valley with low mountains in background and winding river
Photo by Jordan Christian on Unsplash

Molly Crabapple — far too WASPy a name for a good Jewish girl — in a recent issue of The Nation devoted to the ideas of Utopia, wrote an essay about a place where I spent an impressionable portion of my childhood.

But what portion of childhood does not make an impression?

My family had run as quickly as they could away from the dirt and squalor of “city life” in New York, escaping to the “suburban” world in the borough of Queens. Ah. Fresh air. And look! A bird!.

As Ms. Crabapples’s research reveals, this Northern section of Queens, once lush woods and farmland, had been cleared and parceled…


Acceptance

By being one

beautiful young child wearing a love tee shirt in a wheelchair
beautiful young child wearing a love tee shirt in a wheelchair
Photo by Danny Nee on Unsplash

I do not live in a “colorblind world,” nor would I want to.

And why would you?

It doesn’t make any sense, after all, to not admit that the man in front of me, sitting in a wheelchair, isn’t sitting in a wheelchair, or that the woman behind me, wearing that hearing aide and those wraparound dark glasses isn’t hearing- and sight-impaired. Nor that the woman standing next to me is Black…or a woman.

We are all of us different and distinct in some fashion. Why not acknowledge and celebrate those distinctions? We cannot afford to ignore them.

Oh, true, we could acknowledge and then scream about them. Distrust them for some reason…


Shovels

A rose wouldn’t smell so sweet without a nose

photo portrait of Babe Zaharias famous female athlete of mid 20th century
photo portrait of Babe Zaharias famous female athlete of mid 20th century
Babe Zaharias 1938 https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61533382

More than twenty very famous people* are named or nicknamed Babe. Eight played or were otherwise involved in baseball; ten others, including one woman, were involved in other sports; one was a child actress; one an editor and socialite; the others musicians in a variety of genres.

The most famous of these was, of course, George Herman “Babe” Ruth, whose legend towers over the rest, rightfully or not. And second among them she who was named for him, Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, perhaps the greatest all-around female athlete of the modern age.

Indeed, most of these women and men…


Writing Life

Your writer is on first…who’s your editor?

source

Okay. Some of you may be too young. And even this reference may not help:


Politics

Do you?

piece of toast with funny face carved into it
piece of toast with funny face carved into it
Photo by Abdullah Ahmad on Unsplash

While they were impeaching Pres. Bill Clinton for lying about his extramarital affair in 1996, the Republican Speaker of the House had to resign, in part because of problems relating to his adulteries involved with his three marriages.

His chosen replacement then had to resign because of an adulterous affair. His replacement served as Speaker for years until his retirement and after a long while we discovered he had multiple relationships with boys and teens on the side during most of his adult life.

GOP integrity. Did they turn on themselves with a vengeance and clean house? Heavens…


Drama

Yet another cautionary tale

four young woman in dark clothing, blindfolded, acting on a bare stage
four young woman in dark clothing, blindfolded, acting on a bare stage
Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash

A friend of mine is an actress. A real one.

In fact I have several friends, or have had over the years, in the acting business or related fields. Lots of actor friends, in fact. As Johnny Cash says, “I’ve been everywhere, man…” And over the years, traveling, I’ve done just about everything. What I haven’t done, I’ve watched others do.

Acting? I would have. I had the inclination and attitude (o tempera, o more) but, for some reason, I could not remember lines.

Anyway, this friend is now more or less retired. In the past she has been almost exclusively what is known in the…

Alan Asnen

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