Gaga but sober

Sore and achy after a morning of errands.  The body is resistant to motion these days.

First task was to get the car washed.  I was low on gas, so went to a gas station/car wash combo, where for $6 you drive your car onto tracks that carry you and it through deluges of water and soap suds, giant whirring brushes and blasts of air, and emerge clean and shiny on the other side.  Only problem was, I forgot to put up the window until a blast of soapy water hit me on the side of the face.  Sigh.  I knew what those people behind me were thinking:  gaga old fool.  No kidding.

Drove from there to an upscale shopping street which I thought had lots of gifte shoppes to buy something for my daughter-in-law’s parents in Turkey. She and my son and their baby are about to visit.  Strolled up and down the street, taking in the scene and dodging white-skinned babies in high-powered strollers pushed by brown-skinned nannies.  There must be 20 restaurants in three blocks, at least five cafes, fifteen or so women’s boutiques, a market with outrageously expensive but perfect produce, but not many gift shops and all of them carrying imports. I wanted to send something made locally.  Finally remembered the stained glass store a block further down, where I found a lovely multicolored humming bird to hang in a window.

Duty done, I then went to one of the import stores and bought some very expensive antique rose gold earrings.  I never buy things like that for myself, but I’ve never given myself a sobriety present, and these are it.

I may be a gaga old fool, but I’ve been sober 1233 days.

***

Still in the news, the fire at Chevron’s Richmond oil refinery that spread caustic black smoke across the Bay Area on Tuesday.  In my daughter’s town in Contra Costa County, residents got emergency alerts to stay inside and put wet towels around the windows and doors.

Profits before people, brought to you by corporate America. Photo credit: Lance Iversen, The Chronicle / SF

Fingers of blame pointing in every direction, but the clearest statement comes from a refinery safety expert for the United Steel Workers:  “You should err on the side of safety and not err on the side of profits–it doesn’t pay to assume the best, you should assume the worst.  You already know it’s a problem….This isn’t the first time we have been down this road–when you have a leak, you have an abnormal condition; why flirt with danger?”

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