19 February 2021 | 8:03 pm

 I've memorized exactly two poems in my life  - both when I was 13 years old - and I've enjoyed them many, many times since then. Yesterday while I was sweeping I was thinking, "If seven maids with seven mops, swept for half a year, do you suppose," the walrus said, "that they could get it clear?" 

"I doubt it," said the carpenter and shed a bitter tear. 

Sweeping is like that.

I don't think there's anything about lyrics that makes them easier to remember, but they are.  I think it's because every time you sing the song it refreshes the memory. And you probably sing more often than you recite. So, here's a sweeping reference in lyrics. "Last night in my dreams I was stationed forever on a far little rock in the midst of the sea. My one chance of life was a ceaseless endeavor, to sweep off each wave as it swept over me." This is The Housewife's Lament. It's the first song I learned to play on the guitar. 

I want to choose another poem to memorize. Even at my age, I think I can do it. I thought there must be other poems about sweeping, so I googled it. That's a rabbit hole I really can't afford to go down today. There are more than three million hits. I'll just choose something from my favorite book: Favorite Poems Old and New - still in print after sixty years. 

Check back for news of my selection. And thoughts about the other poem I memorized when I was young. 

1 April 2020 | 7:01 pm

So many things in life involve trade-offs. Even the simplest things.

I keep a jug of cider near my chair so I don't have to get up to get a drink. I know. It's lazy. And I really could use the exercise of going downstairs to get the drink. But lately, I've been thinking that cider has a lot of calories. Maybe I could switch to fizzy water.

A friend kindly bought me a six-pack of lime fizzy water. I tried it. I LIKE it. But the next day I looked at the bottle and realized I really can't be responsible for bringing all that plastic into the world.

I googled seltzer makers. I think the results can be summarized as complicated, expensive and definitely not waste-free. I realized that I really don't need bubbles. I just need something a bit more interesting than tap water.

This is it! Fruit-infused waters. There must be thousands of possible combinations many of which can be found here.  I haven't tried them yet, but I'm hopeful. I have to give up bubbles (which my cider didn't have anyway). But in exchange, I can give up calories and AND plastic.

7 April 2018 | 6:48 pm

This should still be a good place to record ideas. Sometimes when I'm looking for something I remember writing, I run across other things I've forgotten about but still enjoy.

I've been watching and enjoying Finding Forrester. I like Sean Connery. And I like stories about smart, decent people. And I like stories wherein the smart decent people win.
A unique relationship develops between an eccentric, reclusive novelist and a young, amazingly gifted scholar-athlete. After the novelist discovers that the young athlete is also an excellent writer and secretly takes him on as his protégé, they develop an unlikely friendship.
That blurb omits several important details. The "reclusive novelist" is an alum of the exclusive prep school that Jamal, the young "scholar-athlete" is attending. And, as the name suggests, Jamal is black.

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