August 10th, 2017

(sobh bekheir) صبح بخي!! (A Farsi “Good Morning” that you might hear in in Iran, Afganistan, Tajikistan and is a handy phrase to remember given that over 110 million of us speak Farsi .)

I am getting more domestic as Tippy is coming home this weekend. I have been refinishing this bench from our bedroom for months. Well, it has been in the garage for months. I actually started to refinish it this week.

This week I learned some stuff:

• I learned about Lucy this week. Lucy was a victim of human imperialism. Lucy was a two day old beautiful baby chimpanzee when she was taken from her sedated mother and given to a human family to raise as their child. Or to put it in rationalization speak, “Lucy was a two day old chimp who was adopted by a human psychologist and his wife and raised as a member of their human family.” until she became what she was, a chimpanzee. She was very smart and wore pretty dresses like any other girl. She learned to sign and communicate with her family and care takers. She liked to color in her coloring books. Lucy has a kitten. When she went through puberty, and got stronger and more willful, Lucy became a problem. First, they confined this satinet being in a cage within her own house. Remember, all Lucy knows is she a little girl just like her “siblings”. Eventually they ship Lucy off to Africa to be “let go”. Mom and dad hung around for 3 days and then left Lucy in the hands of one of the most remarkable people I have ever heard of, graduate student, Janis Carter. Janis was asked to stay on for another two-three weeks to continue to help Lucy “transition” to life as a free chimpanzee. Lucy didn’t transition well. She would eat, lost weight and started looking her fur. Janis ended up staying on in Gambia to help Lucy and some other chimps raised similarly to Lucy for years. What happens to Lucy and Janis is a tragedy but I encourage you to hear their story because I think it teaches us about the best and the worst of humanity. You can see their pictures and listen to their story here.
• I am trying out the new Grill mat that has been advertised to death lately. It seemed to work well on my skirt steaks. I wish I had been smart enough to just put them in the dishwasher but for some reason I felt like I needed to wash them by hand which was pretty messy. But they worked as advertised – cooked well including those must have grill marks and I didn’t have any flare ups or anything .. so cool:)

Website Update:

• A New Vocabulary Quiz!!! Woohoo!!!
• This week I also added the lyrics for “Don’t Think Twice, Its All Right” from Bob Dylan for your sing-a-long pleasure. Enjoy!
• I continued to add previous UJT Updates, numerous recipes, quotes and Interesting Humans. I am also learning about the new website management tools available to me. Some lessons are less painful than others but I am still having to touch almost every page.
• This week’s “Interesting Human” is Janis Carter. Janis is a remarkable human being. She took care of Lucy and her other charges when the rest of humanity let them down. Her commitment to these chimpanzees and the people of Gambia is impressive.

Writing and Painting Update:
• Classes are over for this semester. I am heading back in September.
• I worked on Artifacts a little bit more this week and still felt really guilty about not getting Grandpa Stories republished yet but evidently not enough to actually do something about it.

• I am feeling such guilt over swindling my friends and family out of their donations to the March Of Dimes 50 Mile walk. I was ok with it (meaning I had forgotten all about it) until my oldest “stepling”, Donna, reminded me that I still owed her a butterfly picture. Then all the guilt came flooding back as it should. So I am working it, now. Please help me. I finished one picture. But if I owe you a picture, do not count on my faulty memory to remember it or your specifications (3 colors and subject). Just let me know by direct email or you can use the Please Tell Us function on the UJT site.

Music Update:
This week we worked in a nice mix of old, new, soulful, and spiritual music that I hope you will love as much as I do. Click here for week’s UJT Radio program:
• Pharrell Williams — Happy — I heard this one watching Despicable Me 2. It’ s a tight song that makes me smile.. like a room with out a roof 🙂
• Vargo —The Moment — This is a step outside my norm in a few ways. First, I have not enjoyed much electronic music since Sean and I used to listen to Kraftwerk a long time ago. Secondly, this is from a compilation called, Andalusia Chill. This is a nice blend of well played acoustic guitar, breathless jazzy vocals and electronics from this German band.
• Bob Dylan — Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright — This is a song that resonates in my old soul the same as it did when I was a brand new young man trying to figure out exactly what was happening inside the head of every women I ever knew. I am no closer to that goal than I was then, I just like the journey.
• Bob Marley — Buffalo Soldier — I have always loved this song. It just is the right mix of smiling discontent.
• Quinn Sullivan — Got to Get Better in a Little While — I love this old blues standard and have heard it played by the best. This 13 year old kid playing it live in Chicago, does it about as good as any of them.
• The Thorns — Such a Shame — I love the harmonies and the guitar work on this one. From their, “The Thorns” album released in 2003. I think they broke up but I really liked their sound.
• Enya — If I Could Be Where You Are — This one is a truly beautiful song from the Songs for Japan album.
• Tedeschi Trucks Band — Simple Things — I just love the way Susan sings this song. Her voice is so soulful and makes me listen hard then sing along. The band makes it sweet. It is indeed the simple things that make the whole ride worth while.. even the bumpy parts.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember … The best is yet to come!

As always, thank you for being my friend!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: