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And Crisp Apple Strudel…

Jan
10
2006

If I say I’m leaving on a jet plane, can you guess what song inspired this post? Right, exactly – these are a few of My Favorite Things. (Sorry for any earworms.)
At one point, obviously when I was completely delirious from chronic sleep deprivation, I thought it would be a fine thing to take a 783-hour flight with two small children and one large man. And now the tickets are non-refundable, so it looks like the moving plan is still on.
Were I staying in the United States I’d pick things to complain about today, but since I’m leaving, it’s a good time to point out things I actually like. Sure I’ll miss family and friends and yadda yadda sentiment sentiment yadda yadda, but there’s also a few things that should make any American stand up and do the wave and chant U-S-A.
Such as public libraries, for one. We have some wonderful public libraries, at least in areas that have money to spend on them. They should be wonderful in every neighborhood. (A new bumper sticker: What if libraries had all the money they needed and the Pentagon had to hold used-book sales?) I know the Internet has opened up access to information, but it is still an amazing thing to walk into a place filled with books that, and this warms any cheapskate’s heart (mine), you can take out absolutely free. The San Diego County library system, for example, has their catalog on the Internet, so I can use my computer at home to search for any book or movie that takes my fancy, find that quite often they have it, order it, and walk into my local branch to pick it up in a few days. Did I mention that it’s free? I also think libraries are one of the unsung factors supporting the flexibility of the U.S. economy – along with adult education classes, they’re a great resource if you want or need to remake your career, or are just learning for the heck of it.
And yes, of course, other countries have public libraries, but I believe, and I’m sure I’m right, in most cases U.S. libraries are just better. U-S-A, U-S-A. Support your local and non-local library.
I also appreciate U.S. dental culture. Not the current push to make everyone think they should have a smile like a movie star. (Even some movie stars have gone too far. Think about Michael Caine – he looks like he should have bad teeth, and then he smiles and they’re perfect, and that’s just wrong. But he’s English, so maybe that’s my bias showing.) But the regular check-up, fluoride in the water, usually well-trained dentists culture that means that middle class dentistry-focused and -spending folks can have healthy, decent-looking teeth. (Even though San Diego apparently hasn’t considered itself part of the U.S. until recently and doesn’t fluoridate water yet. This culture does not exist in all rich countries. (Think Britain.) OK, maybe we’re a little teeth obsessed here. But bad choppers and mouth pain take away from the pleasure of eating, and that’s not good.
Then, every Tuesday night at 10 p.m., I’ll really miss Boston Legal. Too bad they won’t be showing it to kill some of the 1,564 hours I’ll be flying. Even if the program eventually gets picked up and dubbed into Spanish, it certainly won’t be the same. Please watch it; otherwise, I’m sure they’ll cancel it before I’m home on a visit.
So I should be finished with my 2,806-hour flight by Jan. 31, when I’ll be back writing here to let you know how much fun it was. Hasta la vista.

Share  Posted by Deborah Klosky at 5:11 PM | Permalink

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