Although I’m calling this website “a personal memoir in flux,” it is also my hope that the various sections will be of interest to people, whether they know me or not. “Out on a Lim” shares short observations on day-to-day life. “Limerances” chronicles longer remembrances of things past. “Limoscenes” presents descriptions of the plays I’ve written to date, with production photos. “Images in Limbo” shows pictures of the aging process, of me with family and friends. “Limpets” are the non-human dogs in my life, and “Limitations” are tributes to people who are no longer with us. So here I am, past imperfect, present progressive, future tense. Let me know what you think. — Paul
January 11, 2017, by Paul
Because the Trump Transition Team has been unable to line up real celebrities for the January 20 inauguration of DJT, it has just been announced by the Team that they will go instead for “soft sensuality.” Although this sounds vaguely pornographic, or something we might expect in an ad for huuuuge condoms the size of The Donald’s hands, I’m sure the Team has other things in mind by way of entertainment. Is the aging Sylvester Stallone going to run up and down the steps of the Capitol as ROCKY on Viagra? Better still, given The Donald’s obsession with ratings and polls, is it possible we’ll see the Rockettes performing as POLL DANCERS? Get ready for “soft sensuality,” everyone. Be sure to stock up on lubricants to ease The Donald’s entry into the White House, a penetration aided perhaps by none other than Vlad the Impaler.
January 9, 2017, by Paul
Of the many wonderful cards and e-greetings I received recently on my birthday, the one that made me feel “younger than springtime” was from KeeWee (with a little help from Julie Jacob), whose card showed a cake with three candles on it, suggesting that, in dog years, I am only 21 years old.
January 9, 2017, by Paul
According to DJT: “We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars. All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for the inauguration.”
If DJT is having trouble finding a great dress to wear to his own inauguration, perhaps he could look through wife Melania’s closets.
January 8, 2017, by Paul
On my last visit to the dentist, my hygienist recommended a particular brand of electric toothbrush, so last week I went to a store in town, and was delighted that not only was the item on sale with my 20% off holiday coupon, but that the manufacturer of the item was also offering a $35 rebate—all you had to do was fill out a form, attach the store receipt and the bar code from the box, and mail it in. Okay, I did all that as soon as I got home, even as the $200 electric toothbrush was charging itself for 24 hours prior to initial use.
So, 24 hours later, I finally tried to use this wonderful gadget. I didn’t mind the toothpaste flying up toward the ceiling when I turned on the toothbrush; I didn’t mind drooling like I haven’t drooled since I was a babe in swaddling clothes; I didn’t mind the terrible grinding sound whenever I hit my teeth with the plastic part of the toothbrush; but I was alarmed when my gums started to bleed. Perhaps I wasn’t doing it right, so I tried brushing in different positions, including lying on my back so I would drool inward, not outward and downward, but all with the same bloody result.
Finally, today, I gave up, and brought the item in its original box back to the store. The clerk asked me what was wrong with the product, and I related my experience. I also told her that I had already mailed in the $35 rebate, and asked what I should do about that. The store manager happened to be standing nearby, overheard the whole thing, and said I would not only get a full refund from the store, but that I could also keep the $35 rebate from the manufacturer if and when it arrives.
The sales clerk looked truly surprised by this information and said under her breath, “So why don’t we all just buy things, send in for rebates, then return the items?” Bristling through clenched teeth and bloody gums, I asked her if she really thought that I would consider doing something like that.
The store manager was mortified, apologized profusely for the clerk, and took over the rest of the transaction. Tonight, before going to bed, I’ll brush my teeth the old fashioned way, manually, still bristling after all these years.
December 14, 2016, by Paul
Donald Trump has postponed “until sometime next month” the revelation of how he plans to resolve all potential conflicts of interest arising from his vast business empire in light of his ascendency to the American presidency. In the past, he has always said that the business will be passed on to three of his four adult children—Ivanka, Eric and Donald, Jr. No mention of poor Tiffany, ever, so she can have breakfast anywhere she wants. In his most recent tweet, however, The Donald names only Eric and Donald, Jr., leaving out his favorite child Ivanka, reducing her to the same non-status as Tiffany.
So what’s going on? Has Ivanka displeased her father in some way because she believes in climate change? Was she overly ambitious when she pushed her way into meetings with visiting heads of state in order to push her own clothing line? Did she refuse to declare more publicly her love and loyalty for the erratic patriarch? Will her two male siblings now inherit her share of the earth owned by King Lear at Trump Tower? Is this tragedy or comedy? Will it all end with cries of anguish or gales of laughter? “Howl, howl, howl, howl!”
November 10, 2016, by Paul
People who know Donald J. Trump all say that there is a Public Trump and a Private Trump, as the whole world waits to see which Trump is going to emerge in the days following the election. Meanwhile, I am rereading T.S. Eliot:
“And indeed there will be time
For the sulfurous smoke that slides along Pennsylvania Avenue,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the many molested women come and go
Talking of Donald J. Trump.”
August 2, 2016, by Paul
Donald Trump wonders why the grieving Ghazala Khan did not speak as she stood beside her husband Khizr at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia last week. Trump suggests that as a Muslim woman, Mrs. Khan has been silenced. She has since then spoken out, a lot, about how Trump misunderstood a mother’s grief for the subjugation of Muslim women.
So far, no one has wondered about the silence of Donald Trump’s first two wives, Ivana and Marla. Is it possible that, under the lucrative terms of their respective divorce proceedings and settlements, these two women have been paid off to keep quiet? As for Trump’s third and present wife Melania, we know that she can speak publicly, but that her words are worthless because they are plagiarized and not her own. Enough said.
July 24, 2016, by Paul
(Note: When I was preparing my brief remarks for the informal memorial service being held on 24 July 2016 for George Cameron Hurst III in the Lawrence residence of his son Ian, I went on the internet to study the speeches of Melania Trump, to see if there’s anything I could borrow, but there’s nothing there, no there there, so I’m left to my own devices. Here’s the text of what I wrote and shared with Cappy’s family and friends in Lawrence, KS.)
Reading Cappy Hurst’s obituary in the Lawrence Journal-World reminded me of the fact that Cappy and I both arrived at the University of Kansas in the hectic and tumultuous days of 1969. Because Cappy and my good friend Grant Goodman were both Japanologists, Cappy was among the first people I met socially.
He was trim, tanned, athletic, good-looking, the very picture of the Golden Boy from California. If I remember correctly, he also sported a gold tooth which, whenever he smiled, sparkled and twinkled, like the romantic heroes in the Hollywood movies of a bygone era.
Cappy loved the movies, but the movies we talked about were not Hollywood movies. They were, not surprisingly, given his scholarly academic publication on The Armed Martial Arts of Japan, and his own personal achievement as a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, the movies he loved were the Samurai movies of Mifune, directed by Kurosawa, films like Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Sanjuro, Yojimbo, The Hidden Fortress.
Unlike many gathered here today, I did not manage to keep in touch personally with Cappy after he left Lawrence and the University of Kansas in 1995. What news I had of him and his failing health in recent years, came from Grant Goodman. And when Grant himself passed away in April of 2014, I no longer had any news of Cappy, until I saw his unexpected obituary in the local paper on 10 July 2016.
My best memory of Cappy goes back to 1978, when I needed a young child to pose for a poster for my play HOMERICA, which was being presented with great fanfare in the ballroom of the Kansas Union. I asked Cappy if we could borrow his son Ian for the picture, and Cappy not only agreed, he himself accompanied Ian to the photo shoot. I looked at the poster again today, and was startled to see, not Ian, but Cappy staring back at me, reminding me of what the poet William Wordsworth said, that “the child is father of the man.”
Precisely because I did not see Cappy after 1995, I have no visual image of him in my mind after 1995, of when he was no longer young and vital. The obituary in the paper said he was 75 years old. That can’t be true, because for me he is, in the words of Bob Dylan, forever young:
“May God bless and keep you always; may your wishes all come true.
May you always do for others, and let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on every rung.
May you stay forever young, forever young, forever young…
May you stay forever young.“
July 21, 2016, by Paul
Here is part of Meredith Melver’s statement about the role she played in writing Melania Trump’s now infamous plagiarized speech at the Republican Convention in Cleveland:
“In working with Melania Trump on her recent First Lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her and messages she wanted to share with the American people. A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama. Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches. This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama.”
So, if Melania actually read some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech over the telephone to Meredith Melver, and these were the passages which were subsequently included in Melania’s own speech in Cleveland, did Melania not recognize the very same words that she dictated on the telephone to Meredith Melver? At age 46, is Melania already showing signs of memory loss? Should she be tested for Alzheimer’s?
July 17, 2016, by Paul
The Republican Convention is upon us, and I’m looking forward to being swamped with new Trump/Pence slogans. Here are a few which come to mind for the T/P ticket:
T/P: A Royal Flush!
T/P: No Shit, Just Hits!
T/P: Winning with Home Runs!
T/P: Go with the Flow!
T/P: Wipe America Clean!
T/P: Toupee Totally Two-Ply!
T/P: Let the Good Times Roll!
T/P: LET My People TOIL!
T/P: What a Dump!