Empty Nesters Has Heart and Humor

20 May


Poet playwright Garret Jon Groenveld has written a gem of a play that focuses on a middle-aged couple who has just dropped off their daughter at college and takes a side trip to the Grand Canyon before returning to their now-empty house. It’s a common situation for many of us, yet I don’t recall seeing it portrayed in the theater before.

Real-life wife and husband Pamela Gaye Walker and John Walker beautifully play the empty nesters who are looking to the future, not quite knowing what it holds for them. The two have a natural connection that works well onstage, and they convincingly portray a couple dealing with life changes. The dialogue was so real that these two felt like people I might have known, and furthermore, people I’d like to know. By the end of the first scene, we’ve gotten rich details of their life that paint a vivid picture of who they are and who they have been without it ever feeling like someone is providing the audience with back story. The set, though simple, provided everything necessary for the three different locales needed for the play, and the transitions from one scene to the next were seamless.

The Empty Nesters has heart, humor, and even a touch of mystery, all of which make for a satisfying evening of theater. Go see it!

A PlayGround and Virago Theatre Company co-production at San Francisco’s Thick House through June 14. http://playground-sf.org/emptynesters/

Remembering Mom and the Change

10 May

momWhen my mother was several years younger than I am now and she felt warmer than she thought she logically should be or, for that matter, displayed any number of symptoms, she’d sigh in this resigned way and utter in her slow Oklahoma drawl, “I guess I’m going through the Change.” That’s Change with a capital “C.”

At that point I’d abandoned my hometown of Oklahoma City and gone to school in California. The first time I recall her saying this was after my freshman year of college, and I really didn’t know what she was talking about. I’m a pretty straightforward person who doesn’t bother with euphemisms. When people are no longer living, I say they are dead—none of this passing on business for me. I never got a “visit from my Aunt Flo.” I got my period. Period.

Which segues me right back into Mom’s constant proclamations that she was going through the Change. All I know is that her transformation seemed to be taking a long time. I heard about it every time I was home for the summer until I graduated. And when I got my first apartment in Oakland and Mom came to visit, she still wasn’t done. In fact, I’m pretty sure she still hadn’t passed that milestone when I got married. Of course, she was only 49 then, so it’s conceivable that she had not yet crossed that bridge, but I wasn’t versed in the ways of menopause because it was so far in my own future as to seem irrelevant. I guess I don’t actually know when she technically went through menopause.

When I was a child, Mom was at home. She was always first in line to pick me up from school. She was the assistant coach for my sister’s softball team. She sewed dresses for me, drove us kids to piano and guitar lessons, and had dinner on the table every night at 6:00.

But while I was away, she became active in the Oklahoma Women’s Indian Federation and rose in the ranks to become president—this from a woman who rarely mentioned her Choctaw blood the whole time I was growing up in her house.

And she became an advocate for rape survivors, which means that when a rape was reported, she was called in to be with the victim and explain her rights and options before, during, and after she was examined. Mom held the hands of a lot of traumatized women in pain and shock. And if the survivor chose to testify at trial, she’d accompany her.

Mom also taught herself how to use a computer and got her GED. She took up beading, went to powwows, and probably did a lot of other things I didn’t even know about.

On second thought, maybe when I went off to college, she did go through Changes with a capital “C.” And she just kept evolving. Maybe she never was talking about menopause…


Theater’s latecomer policy: Fair but cruel?

10 May

playwrightsfestivalposter shortI had been looking forward to the premiere of my ten-minute play for months.

My wacky screwball comedy, “A Twin Tale,” was chosen to be part of the Ohlone College Playwright Festival, which was May 7 & 8. As one of the playwrights, I had two comp tickets for Friday. But Dave needed to go to a memorial service that night, so I bought tickets for Thursday so we could go together.

The two of us headed down to Fremont (an hour’s drive) and actually got there in plenty of time. Although the seats provided no wiggle room, I managed to arrange my knees so as not to bump the person in front of me. I enjoyed all the plays, and the student actors were mostly quite good. They did a beautiful job with my play, and it was great hearing laughter in all the right places. Dr. Gauss, was played by a particularly charming young man who performed a little soft-shoe number for the audience while the other actors set the stage for the second scene. I was very happy and wanted to meet the director after the show to congratulate him, but he was nowhere to be found. No matter, I thought, since I’d be back on Friday.

Twin Tale program

just a random page from the program…


Friday was more complicated. Mary and Nina were coming to my house at 5:30. Then we were going in my car to pick up Julie K. at the Emeryville Chevy’s parking lot at 5:45, after which we would head down I-580 and pick up Kate at the corner of Harrison and Pearl at 5:55. Then the five of us would head south, meeting Julie E. at 7:00 at a restaurant in Fremont where I’d made reservations for the six of us.

I’m sure you can see where this is going.

First, my phone stopped working, which means when Julie K. and Nina both called to let me know important information, I could not access that information.

Miraculously we made it to the restaurant on time. However, though our waiter was flirtatious (he knows how to work a table of middle-age women), the kitchen screwed up some of the orders, and five of us had to use credit cards, which was complicated. So we left the restaurant at 7:55 for an 8:00 show. But the night before, they had started 20 minutes late, so I crossed my fingers and drove fast.

But we were coming from a different direction than we had the night before, and I got lost. We arrived at 8:15 and saw a big SOLD OUT sign on the ticket window. In the lobby we flagged down an usher to explain that we had already bought tickets online. The show hadn’t started yet due to technical difficulties, so I assumed we’d be able to slip in before the lights went down. But their policy is to sell to people on the wait list once it’s five minutes past show time, so only four seats remained. The usher wouldn’t let us stand due to fire laws. I suggested that I could stand quietly in the back of the sound booth, but the manager didn’t go for it, even when I told him that I was one of the playwrights.

ohlone map

the map I probably should have had with me

I bowed out since I’d seen it the previous night, and Nina quite graciously offered to sit with me in the lobby while the others saw the show. I inquired about any nearby coffee shop, and we were given directions to Starbucks. So Nina and I traversed the campus and jaywalked across Mission Boulevard just to find that Starbucks was closed.

By this time I was desperate for a bathroom and knew I wouldn’t make it all the way back to the college. We found a Subway Deli, where I made a dash for the facilities while Nina got a soda. And I almost made it.

So the night did not go exactly as planned.

At intermission, the four who actually got to see the show said mine was the best. Then we cut our losses and headed back north.

But we had fun at dinner, as the singletons swapped stories of online dating adventures/catastrophes. And we had a few laughs in the car down there and back.  I feel so lucky that I have supporters willing to buy tickets, make the long trek down to Fremont, and watch several other pieces just to see my ten-minute play.

It made me think of a girl we used to tease in college—Torrey once drunkenly pronounced, “Friends are cool!” It just sounded ridiculous to say something out loud that was so obvious.

But Torrey was right—friends are cool.

Maybe I’m just not meant to ride a bicycle…

1 May
bike in shed

My bike back in the shed from whence it came…

My husband Dave is a serious cyclist who is on a 90-mile ride today to train for the AIDS Life Cycle week-long ride at the end of this month.

Me? Not so much. I mean I own a bike, and I ride it every year to the SF Mime Troupe’s performance at Cedar Rose Park because it’s a tad too long to walk, the route is mostly on a bike path, and parking on performance days is limited.

But recently I was feeling guilty for driving my car to downtown Berkeley, so I thought, what the heck? Why not get the bike out?

I first tried it out a few weeks ago. Dave lent me his fancy Kryptonite lock that he hadn’t even used yet. When I reached the library, I tried to open the lock but couldn’t. I asked for help from a fellow cyclist, but he couldn’t get the key to work either. Luckily, I was early (for once), so I rode two blocks to a bike shop to see if anyone there could open the lock. But the key just didn’t work.

The incredibly nice guy at the bike shop swapped out the lock for a brand-new one at no charge whatsoever so that I’d be able to lock up my bike! All he asked is that I bring him the extra key that came with the faulty lock some time so that he could send it all back to the company together. He would deal with getting a replacement, and I was free to go on my merry way without worrying that my bike would get stolen while I was in the library. Thank you, nice bike guy!

Then I hurt my back, after which I got the flu, so I didn’t ride downtown until a few days ago. With my new bike lock (that I locked and unlocked before I set out), I rode along the Ohlone path. Unfortunately I had chosen to wear my book bag rather than a daypack, and it kept slipping off my back, around my side, and landing in what would have been my lap. If it were light, it would have just been annoying; but it held not only my book and papers but also the heavy lock and a tin of chocolate chip cookies. (Don’t ask.) So my bag kept banging on my left knee each time I pedaled. I had to stop multiple times to move the bag around so that it was on my back.

What with all the stopping and starting, I was running late and started pedaling harder. As I rode past a homeless guy at Ohlone Park, he helpfully suggested that I change gears. When I was stopped at Martin Luther King and Hearst, a gaggle of Cal students jogged by me en masse, and I heard one exclaim to another, “That’s because you’re not Mexican!” I have no idea what the context was, whether I should laugh or be offended, or what race any of the youths were, and I didn’t really have time to contemplate it further because the light changed.

banged-up knee

One of my banged-up knees

Although I should have crossed MLK and continued to Milvia, I stupidly turned right. Milvia is a designated bike-friendly street. MLK is a busy thoroughfare. Lots of cars sped by me, some of them rather close. And with all the cars parked on the street, there was very little room to maneuver. When a car whizzed by me only inches away, I got spooked. Instead of waiting to use the driveway just ahead, I tried to jump my bike up to the sidewalk. Not a good idea. I wiped out. A nice man who was walking by helped me get my bike upright and asked if I was okay. I assured him I was, though I’d been better. I was so glad that I had worn jeans because there was a hole in the knee that would have been a hole in my knee had I been wearing anything less. The chain had slipped off the gears, so after re-attaching it, my hands were a yummy mixture of blood and bicycle grease.

I did make it to the library, and luckily this time, my lock worked perfectly. A fellow Playreader graciously gave me a pre-moistened wipe for my hands. And everyone loved the cookies.

But once I got home, I took a shower, iced my swelling lumps, and vowed to leave my bike in the shed until the Mime Troupe comes to town this summer.

Still alive but not kicking—feverish musings

18 Apr
flu day 4

I wear this fashionable mouth cover to protect my readers.


While we spent a fun weekend in Tahoe with friends eating, hiking, singing, dancing, and drinking, Dave came down with the flu. So it was no surprise that I came home late Sunday night behind in all aspects of my life—laundry was piled high, the cupboards were bare, and I couldn’t find my cell phone anywhere. But on Monday I did what I could to catch up while taking care of Dave. I managed to do a little bit of my job, pick up some groceries, conquer the laundry, and walk the dogs before I succumbed to sickness myself on Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, day 2 of my flu symptoms, I ambled the few feet from my bed to my desk to attend to some brief but necessary correspondence and then crawled back to bed. So it’s a good thing I work at home!

After an hour nap, I tried to read the book assigned for my Native American Lit class, but I couldn’t tell if it was written in a really confusing way, or if my fever was obstructing my comprehension. (Okay, 99.8 degrees isn’t likely to fry my brain, but it seemed like a reasonable excuse.) So I allowed myself to sink to the lowest common denominator of mindless activity—watching TV.

Dr. No

Dr. No in his height-of-fashion radioactive gear


Ursula showing off her seashells

I had never seen Dr. No, the very first Bond film, and had I been well, I still never would have. But Ursula Andress’s seashells kept my mind off my achy self. Despite the promise of a Bond film festival on whatever channel I had wandered onto, I decided to take a more pro-active stance on my screen watching. I’d heard about Broadchurch, a BBC murder mystery series of critical acclaim available on Netflix streaming, so I dove in and watched five consecutive episodes.

Day 3: I’m starting to lose track of time. Because the Dayquil (despite its name) made me drowsy yesterday, I found that I fell asleep for short periods when I didn’t really want to. So today I countered that with coffee. My flu symptoms are mostly dealt with, but I still have the energy to stay upright in bed and write.

Then, because I was feeling a tad guilty that I was feeling better but not getting any work done, I again made the three-foot journey to my desk and read my work e-mail. I even opened up all the files that I needed to do the proofreading I was supposed to do. But then I realized I needed the hard copy to proof against, which was downstairs. While I was mustering up the strength to descend the stairway, I realized I had to visit the bathroom. That zapped my energy reserves, however, and I plopped back into bed, vowing to return to the proofreading job when I next found a burst of energy. Then I watched the remaining 3 episodes of season one of Broadchurch.chestburster

Day 4: It’s just a stupid flu, but I feel like an alien has taken over my body. I’ve now missed three classes, and tonight I’m not going to hear Willa Mamet at the Monkeyhouse. I have tickets for tomorrow night’s Antigonick at Shotgun. Please oh please, let me be better by then…On a positive note, my new iPhone arrived in the mail today!

Day 5: Dave got sick a few days earlier than I did, so he’s even more ready to get rid of this virus or flu or whatever it is. He took drastic action—he went to his doctor at Kaiser. He came home wearing a face mask and carrying a pharmacy bag with an inhaler, some cough medicine with codeine, an antibiotic, and something else that I can’t remember. The diagnosis? Bronchitis.

I do not feel well enough to go to Kaiser, but what if I have bronchitis too? I don’t think my doctor has many patients because when I went online to get an appointment, I had several options available, two of them for today.

I decided that the adage Dress for the job you want could be adapted to Dress for the health you deserve. So I removed the stinky pair of pajamas I’d been living in for almost three days and took a shower. Then I put on a dress and clean underwear. It worked! I felt 25% better, which was enough to drive to Kaiser. Dave handed me an extra face mask that he’d picked up on his visit. So the dress that declared health was somewhat undermined by the pink mask that screamed contagious.

Apparently Kaiser is now on a mission to prevent alcoholism because between the nurse and Dr. Chan, I was asked more questions about my drinking than about my breathing. It reminded me of our yearly check-ups with Kylie’s yos sampediatrician. Every year we were asked if we had a firearm in our home, and every year we said no. I wonder how many Berkeley families suddenly become gun-toting second-amendment advocates. “Yeah, I know I said for ten years that I’d never own a gun, but last week I just had a hankerin’ to go shooting!”

My lungs did not alarm him, and my fever is minor at this point, so Dr. Chan sent me home with a fist bump (less likely to spread germs) and without any prescriptions at all. Dave will share his inhaler and cough medicine with me, and I really don’t want any antibiotics if I don’t need them. I should find out what the fourth thing was though—maybe it’s fun…

Night 5: Because we’re season subscribers, I was able to swap out our theater tickets for another night. So that’s good news. But I was bummed to find out that The Wire isn’t available on Netflix streaming. On the bright side, Dave is feeling well enough to walk to Five Star Video for some dvds and pick up dinner from the Thai place next door. So we’re set for tonight.

weightsDay 6: The worst part of waking up this morning was realizing that I had only been dreaming that I was feeling much better and was heading to the gym. Only in your dreams, Tanya. And how pathetic is it when your fantasies include exercise?

We watched the rest of season two of Borgen, a well-done Danish TV drama program about Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg—Denmark’s answer to The West Wing. With that kind of concentrated exposure to Danish, I should be able to pick up the language easily if my flu lasts long enough for me to see season three. I can already swear in Danish: Lort! Lort! Lort!

One of the weird aspects of being housebound right now is that we’re getting the house painted (on the outside), which means that all week, painters have been using power sprays to blast off dirt and scrapers to remove loose paint chips before taping plastic to cover all the windows. Even with the blinds drawn, it has been somewhat unsettling to hear people just on the other side of the windows at all times of day, knowing that I can’t leave. And of course now that they’re actually painting, we’re hermetically sealed in. Yesterday was quite hot, and we couldn’t open any windows. So I wore a camisole and a pair of p.j. shorts, turned the fan on full-blast, and placed ice packs strategically on my body. Dave seemed hot too, but he didn’t seem as bothered by it.

I think I’ve figured it out—the flu somehow triggered menopause and in addition to my flu symptoms, I’m experiencing hot flashes. Or maybe it’s just good timing.squeaky toy

Right now I’m lying in bed listening to quiet music and trying not to cough as Dave lies asleep next to me. Anna Nalick is singing “Breathe—just breathe.” So I do. But every exhale sounds like I just stepped on one of the dog’s squeaky toys.


Fostering rescue dogs is a win/win

2 Apr
fitz & toy

Chappie snuggles with Mr. Pumpkin.

I used to think I was just a big-dog kind of person—Labradors, golden retrievers, German shepherds, Rottweilers, huskies, hound dogs, or any mutt over 60 pounds caught my eye. But we have been fostering rescue dogs for two different organizations, Hopalong and Paw Fund, and so far we’ve had only small dogs. And I have to admit—they’re cute!Chappie was so affectionate and jumped up and hung out with me on the daybed where I have set up my “home office” (as opposed to my work office at my real desk eight feet away). He liked to chew things, but other than one misplaced ball-point pen, which thankfully did not leak, he concentrated on the toys that came with him from Hopalong. We had Chappie for a week before he found a forever home, and I have to admit, it was somewhat difficult to leave him at the adoption event, knowing it was likely that he’d be adopted. (He was really too cute not to be.) But it was great being able to give him a loving temporary home until the right one presented itself.

Our second charge came with the name Coleman, but that didn’t work for us, and he didn’t know that name anyway, so we renamed him Fitz. Fitz is a 5-month old tiny puppy. He likes to carry his toys around with him, and even though some are bigger than his head, he still manages to jump up on the bed with one in his mouth. He likes to climb onto the back of the couch and look down on Rufus, our red coon hound who spends most of his time there.

A Dog's Life 2

Rufus relaxes after a hard day of eating and napping.


Cartwheel yawning


Rufus wasn’t exactly thrilled to become a big brother to these pups, but he didn’t seem too annoyed. As long as they don’t touch his food, he’ll look the other way.

Our cat Cartwheel has been quite tolerant—he’s the perfect cat to be around dogs because he’s so chill, and we suspect that he thinks he’s part canine. He did look a bit put out when Fitz first arrived after Chappie had been gone for four days. He probably thought he’d already done his good deed by leaving Chappie alone, and here we were bringing home another.

One of the greatest things about small dogs is that they are so easy to pick up. There’s no need to coax and cajole them to go anywhere because if you want them on your lap or off the cat, you can just lift them up and carry them away!

Fitz hangin'

Fitz watches me exercise.

I could say we’re being altruistic by housing these pups, but they are giving back at least as much as we’re providing. They love us so unconditionally even though they don’t stay with us very long. Officially Fitz already has a permanent home, but his new companion will be out of the country for two weeks, so we get to have him for that time. I got to meet the woman who is adopting him, and she seems wonderful. I think it would be much harder to give him up if I didn’t know he’d be in a happy home. But apparently during his trial visit, he played with his new sibling dog quite well and got along with the whole family.

So I can’t say that I’m ever going to be one of those ladies who carries miniature dogs in their purses a la Legally Blonde, but I’m definitely warming up to these little critters. How could I not?

Go see Stupid Fucking Bird now!

20 Mar


SF Playhouse has been producing some of the most interesting, entertaining theater around. Continuing this trend, it offers Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird, which is a postmodern take of Chekhov’s classic, The Seagull. I had the pleasure of seeing it in previews earlier this week. It opens tomorrow night.


Charles Shaw Robinson as Sorn

The seven-member cast is first-rate, featuring talented, versatile Bay Area actors, many of whom I’ve seen at Aurora or on the Ashby Stage. Charles Shaw Robinson is Sorn, the quiet doctor, an integral part of the family, who is virtually invisible to all the emotionally wrought characters who surround him.

Carrie Paff never disappoints, and this time she gets to play a narcissistic film actress who loves her grown son, Con, even if she has an odd way of showing it.

Stupid Bird Emma & Trig

El Beh as Mash

The peculiarly named Mash is played by El Beh, whom you may have seen in the Shotgun Players’ recent production of Our Town, where she portrayed Emily—quite a different role, to be sure.

Although the story elements are similar to Chekhov’s play, the format is distinctly fresh, with actors occasionally stepping out of character to address the audience, not in a Frank Underwood aside à la House of Cards, but in a full-fledged solicitation to participate. At one point Con faces the audience and appeals for ideas of how he can win his mother’s love. Later, Magill, the actor playing Con, refers to the likelihood that many of us stole a second look at his bio because his head shot shows him sans beard. (See below.)

But breaking down the fourth wall is not merely a gimmick—it helps to tell the story in a refreshing way. One could almost say it’s cheating on the playwright’s part because enabling the characters to speak directly to the audience allows them to cover back story in a way that couldn’t be done in a traditional play. But Posner does not rely on this method too heavily, and it’s interwoven artfully with dialogue and action.

And Posner stayed true to Chekhov’s principle that once a gun is introduced onstage, it must go off. But I don’t want to give away any crucial plot points…

Con on swing

Magill as Con


Magill’s head shot (Pretty different, huh?)








Tea and Handler at Book Passage—Yay!

8 Mar

D. Handler & Michelle Tea @ BP

Although I was on deadline writing a play, I took time out to go to Book Passage in Corte Madera to see Daniel Handler and Michelle Tea, who were reading from their newest books. I briefly considered blowing it off, since I’d just seen Daniel Handler at City Arts & Lectures and I’d seen Michelle Tea at a recent conference, but I decided to make the trek across the Richmond-San Rafael bridge.

And I’m so glad I went.

Before the event started, I made a quick trip to the restroom in Book Passage’s other building and saw Daniel Handler; his wife, Lisa Brown; their 11-year-old son; Michelle Tea; her partner/spouse; and their baby. They were all hanging out together, perusing and buying books. It was such a sweet literary scene.

Because the two authors are friends, their conversation was lighthearted and cozy. And it was entertaining because they are both extremely fun and interesting people. And Daniel Handler can make me laugh even with stories I’ve heard before. (In addition to seeing him in conversation with Michael Chabon in S.F., I also tuned in to KQED’s interview with him a few days ago. So I expected to hear some of the same material.)

Michelle Tea @BPEach of them read the part of their book that involved shoplifting, since they discovered that was a common thread. Handler read from We Are Pirates, his book for adults, and Tea read her memoir, How to Grow Up.

My favorite story was about Handler as a student at Lowell High in S.F. All students were required to take an aptitude test that asked what they wanted to be. Handler convinced a majority of his classmates to check the “other” box and write in “pirate.” It could have been simply a rather harmless prank, but apparently Lowell was being used to represent a huge number of teens across the nation. Imagine the bewilderment of test scorers who discover that a significant portion of our youth were hoping to become pirates. The principal yelled at him, and everyone had to take the test again.

During the Q&A, an audience member asked both Tea and Handler when they knew the wanted to be a writer. Tea knew from age five. Although writing was the first occupation he remembered aspiring to, Handler’s parents told him that when he was very young, he had a different dream: he wanted to be an old man who lived on a hill and dispense advice to those who sought it.Daniel Handler signing @BP

Someone asked how Handler came up with the name Lemony Snicket, his nom de plume for his children’s books. At one point when he was doing some research and needed right-wing material, he called an appropriate source, who asked him for his name. He suddenly realized that he didn’t want his real name to be associated with the material being sent, so he blurted out the first name he thought of—Lemony Snicket. And he liked it so much that when he needed a pen name, he adopted it.

My question, being the copyeditor, was what were they like as authors when they were edited. Did they demand last say on comma placement, or did they tend to take a copyeditor’s changes without fuss? Tea answered first, saying that she was no grammar expert and was happy to have a copyeditor go over her writing. Handler said he can get as uppity about commas as anyone, but he realizes that without copyeditors, he might end up sending a book to press in which he accidentally has a character enter a room twice.

Good answers.

I had already bought We Are Pirates, but I found two Lemony Snicket books that I did not yet own, so I bought those, which Handler stamped on behalf of Lemony Snicket. I wish I’d brought the book I’d bought by Michelle Tea so she could sign it, but I told her that I already had it at home.

It was totally worth taking time out from writing my play. Besides, I came back and pretty much finished it two days early!


My phone is trying to tell me something

6 Mar

iPhone hot (in Spanish)

I’ve had some weird glitches with my iPhone, but overall, I like it. When I first got it, Siri called me by my brother’s name, which is just strange any way you look at it. And I’m still quite certain that she misunderstands on purpose just to annoy me.

But I’m impressed by the lengths it will go to in order to communicate, including switching  up the language when an emergency situation arises.

iPhone hot FrenchI made the mistake of leaving my iPhone on an outdoor table in the sun  a very warm day while chatting with friends. When I picked up my phone, it was not only displaying a dire warning in English, but on the slide button was this note in Spanish: “para emergência.” Then when I tried to get rid of the message, the message popped up again in French.

I have to assume it was going to keep trying different languages until either I put it away or it suffered from heat exhaustion. I wonder if it knows Italian…

A happy conundrum

5 Mar

tanya smilingtanya whistling 2

This happens to me a lot: I’m whistling some tune as I walk to the gym, and some person approaches me going the other direction. I smile and give the person eye contact as we pass. In order to smile, I have to stop whistling. Why is it that one can’t do both at the same time? I’d call that a design flaw…


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