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I’m going to preface this story by reassuring you ahead of time, I really don’t believe in ghosts.  I have no idea what happens when we die.  I’m not absolutely certain that ghosts don’t exist.  But I opt for the explanations rational to my day-to-day experience, which does not, to my knowledge, include ghosts.

I was three-years-old when my parents moved us to Moss Beach, a small coastal town south of San Francisco and north of Half Moon Bay, in 1967.  My mother was pregnant with my brother.  We moved from Cole Street in San Francisco, somewhere between Haight and the Panhandle, the home of my earliest memory snapshots.  I had only known the city, so I was blown away by the open spaces of my new reality.  Our home was on the ocean side of Moss Beach on the hills separating the airport from ocean.  We lived on the end of a road which bordered a large field which spanned to the cliffs about the ocean.  I could almost walk to the big sattelite-tracking radar which presided like a giant-king over the town of Princeton to the south, now obsolete and disassembled.

Aside from the birth of my very loud baby brother, my memories of the year we lived there are of a serene happy time.  I have memories of a big dog (which we had to give away when we returned to the city where my parents could find work).  My father was building a sailboat in Princeton and befriended fishermen there who gave us great deals.  My mother had pregnancy cravings for crab and corn with lemon butter, and I would sit at the table with her feasting on the stuff.  I developed a lifetime taste for anything coming out of the ocean.  I have memories of the heavy fog visibly blowing across the field with a pleasant chill and damp sensation on my face.  I have memories of warm sunny days laying in the grass watching red tail hawks circling above with the only noises being a slight breeze and the distant puttering of Cessnas landing or taking off down the hill.

I’m told I would wander across the field to where the cliffs were.  I have no memories of this.

I have no memories of the Blue Lady.

My mother says she was folding laundry one morning when I came running in.  “Mom, I saw a blue lady!”  Her impression wasn’t that I was scared, but excited.

“A blue what?”

“A blue lady.  I can kind of see through her.”

My mother wrote this off as a three-year-old’s imagination the first time.  And the second time.  To her memory, there was no third.  She didn’t think about it for nearly 8 years.


When I was eleven-years-old, we lived in Montara, a small town just north of Moss Beach.  My mother taught in the city, which meant a bit of a commute and a long day.  A family in the neighborhood watched us after school.  We’d play outside with friends.  One of my parents would come home and we’d break away from our play just long enough to transfer our school packs from the baby-sitter’s home to our own.  We’d play in the neighborhood until dinner.  That’s the last neighborhood I ever lived in with lots of kids my own age, but that’s a topic for another thread (they don’t seem to make neighborhoods like that anymore).  One day my mother pulled into the driveway and called me from down the street with just enough pitch in her voice to suggest I was in trouble.  I made my way to her wracking my brain to try to remember or figure out how I’d transgressed.  She asked me to come inside.  Uh oh.  A long talk.  What had I done?

She sat me down at the table.  “Eric, what do you remember about the Blue Lady?”

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4 percent increases in defense spending are cuts.  And other than the occasional left wing talking heads comments shrugged off by the MSM interviewers who’ve bought into the Republican meme, only the Daily Show seems to be up on the arithmetic.  Quite frankly, I wish there were cuts.  534 billion in capital-intensive, minimally stimulating, spending mostly to fight a cold war which ended almost two decades ago seems excessive to me.  Call me a liberal.

You have to use the link above.  I can’t embed it right now.

Meanwhile, does anybody remember Obama’s “Jewish problem?”  Right wing talking heads, throughout the campaign, kept referring to his Jewish problem, namely that he wouldn’t draw their votes for various reasons.  When election came around he drew 78 percent of the Jewish vote, only 4% more than Kerry received in 2004.

Is 4 percent the conservative’s magic number which reverses the laws of arithmetic?


Meanwhile, Obama is holding and will attend a Seder dinner tonight.  Someone on television last night said that it is the first time a Seder is being held in the White House in which the president will attend.  Apparently he’s making it up to his staff, many of whom missed their family celebrations last spring due to a protracted primary fight with Clinton.

I don’t know how many kids are attending, but I wonder if the youngest of Obama’s daughters will be the youngest attending and thus be assigned the task of asking the four Seder questions.  If filmed, it could be a remarkable moment in the history of religious ecumenism.


April 2009
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