Lots of running around with NPR 1290 on the radio– not so much paying work. I’ve got to do something about that, but I love what I’m doing. The more I learn about navigating the tangled mess of the various insurances– fiendishly complicated codes and requirements invented by bored office workers who wish they were nurses and want to punish us for having a fun job– the more material I will have for my novel. Whenever I get an idea for one and have time to take another writing class. Maybe I’ll stick to short stories.
I have been watching the Fukushima disaster, and want to write more about that, but locally a lot is happening. The Providence Police did fine work in getting the evidence for a conviction in a human trafficking case. ‘Closing the loophole’ will not accomplish this without political will and a real mission to stop trafficking, but so far, so good.
I have the front page of The Journal from a few days ago, with a picture of the Tea Party rally attended by, among others, a row of citizens in wheelchairs. Since my livelihood is serving the needs of the elderly and disabled, using gummint money, I’m wondering what direction they want for our health care system.
Nationally, the Ryan plan to replace Medicare with vouchers sounds a little like a Bush-era system where the government-funded student loan program was infested with middlemen who skimmed money and charged huge interest rates on young people just out of school. That was reformed, so more of the money goes to students. Inviting middlemen to profit from insuring elders sounds great for business, so I expect the billionaire base to come out in support. Gummint bad. Privatization good. That settles it.
Finally, the Liberty Elm is selling a lemon zest coffee cake that is very good grilled. The Cranston Urban Pond Procession is being planned to march again this year. And it’s not really that cold out today.
A quick report from the Urban Pond Procession. We started at Mashapaug Pond right behind Job Lot on Reservoir Ave and proceeded to the Temple to Music at Roger Williams Park. The water sprites put in a good word for us and the rain held off.
Two brass bands, ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ and ‘What Cheer’ kept the beat, and Big Nazo was in charge of crowd control. ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ lived up to its name, performing completely new renditions of marching band favorites, managing to hit notes hitherto achieved only by the Portsmouth Sinfonia. ‘What Cheer’, taking a less anarchic approach, was smooth and satisfyingly recognizable. I loved them both, and whoever decided a parade should have brass bands was so right. You can’t ask grownups to walk on public streets wearing fish costumes without a little reinforcement. Big Nazo, as always, managed to be a little scary along with the funny.
Local businesses helped sponsor the celebration, among them, Louie’s Family Restaurant, Sunny Market, Four Seasons Restaurant, and the Liberty Elm Diner. Also Wat Thormikaram, a Buddhist temple in the Armory District.
One of the pleasures of the walk was seeing things I drive by all the time. The side streets with their modest houses, no two alike, the railroad tracks, the bridges. Roger Williams Park itself, a grand reminder of an age of great public works.
We were a noisy spectacle. Little kids laughed and stared, and a woman in a caftan took pictures. She said, “You people are wonderful, South Elmwood thanks you.” Many Canada geese were unimpressed, but we had a good turnout and did it with style.
Follow this link to Mashapaug Pond and you will see warnings not to fish, swim, or even touch its water. The pond is badly polluted by street runoff and the waste from the Gorham Silver Company that stood on its shore for over 100 years. The pond is not natural, but man-made by damming streams that still run underground to Roger Williams Park. If Mashapaug has a resident goddess, she is a city girl, but that’s just right for our time and place. Birds nest and fish swim, and perhaps some day people will swim in the pond too. Looking at the progress made by Save the Bay I am optimistic.
I’m also optimistic that this somewhat silly demonstration might bring a touch of Mardi Gras to our somber little state. The Urban Pond Procession has grown in three years and looks like it’s catching on. I remember the beginnings of Waterfire, another public event that invites us to look at the beauty to be found right here in the city. Now you can hardly even get to the water, it’s gotten so crowded, but it’s great. I’ll be looking out for next year, and other creative events this year at the Temple to Music in Roger Williams Park.