Monday, October 31, 2011

Aiden and I and Sweet Potato Pie

I was running late picking him up from kindergarten. I knew I only had 15 minutes to spare. Impulsively, I ran into a new grocery store, Green Something, to pick up bread and milk and added more items, you know how it is. Then I went to check out and it’s all self-checkout which I hate. The machine started screeching when I put the chicken in the plastic bag. I was running late and knew that Aiden, my little 6 year old grandson, the worrier, would think I had abandoned him. I drove a too fast down the street, shame on me, and slid into position in the pick-up kid queue at Indian Grove Elementary School. It was 11:35 am and thank God, I was safe. Aiden told me later, “Well, you know Grandma, when you are the last kid waiting they put you in the office and call your parents.” Subtle little stab in the heart.

We unloaded the groceries in my little cottage, “Grandma’s Tree House.” Milk, bread, eggs, root beer, a whole chicken, large eggs, lemons, rosemary, and bananas. Aiden and I settled down into working on a book we made together. It’s called, “Love.” I’d been noticing that his imagination was getting wild and wooly, stretching the bridge between truth and well, untruth.

We wrote the book the weekend before, and then we finished the illustrations. Aiden is really adept at computer stuff, learned how to scan the artwork into the computer in about 10 minutes. He also figured out how to take pictures and download them into the picture file, and then I showed him how to insert it into a document. Sometimes I think he would be perfectly happy having his own apartment with a computer, scanner and printer as long as he had an income stream from somewhere.

So he had dictated his self-description to me, “He is 100 feet tall” and “he has 10 fingers on each hand” and “his grandmother is the baddest Grandma in town.” When I asked how that was possible, he said, “Well, she tries to help people.” Geesh, that’s what made me bad? Anyway the book is hilarious, I did most of the illustrations, and he wrote all the words. He wants to send it to a publisher so we put it in an envelope and sent it to Scholastic, Inc. So it’s on its way to New York. While we wait for glory to come find us, I asked what he wanted to do.

“Let’s cook, Grandma.” Hmmmm. Ah, I remembered the sweet potatoes I had baked the night before. Perfect. I went into Food Network for a recipe and pulled up Emeril’s Sweet Potato Pie. I gave him my “Grandma’s Warning About Electric Mixer’s Talk” and then we began to gather the ingredients. Basically my scary talk is this, “If a child puts his fingers in the beaters he will lose his little fingers.” He’s very careful.

Aiden used the mixer to smooth out the sweet potatoes with the cup of cream, he beat up 4 eggs into the bowl, dumping in the pumpkin pie mix, cloves, salt, ginger, while I scrapped the sides with a wooden spoon. We poured it all into the cooked pie shell, and voila! Around 45 minutes later, it looked like a yummy soufflĂ©. Aiden, sitting in his little wooden chair said, “Oh, Grandma, so delicious!” I’d never had sweet potato pie, but I think we both love it more than pumpkin. Try to make it with someone you love. The love makes it taste better.


•1 egg white, lightly beaten

•1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes

•1 tablespoon vegetable oil

•1/2 cup light brown sugar

•1/2 cup maple syrup

•2 teaspoons ground ginger

•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

•1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

•1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

•1/2 teaspoon salt

•1 cup heavy cream

•4 large eggs

DirectionsPreheat oven to 375 degrees F.I used a pre-made pie shell in the refrigerated section and it worked perfectly.Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer the dough to a 9-inch deep pie pan and ease the pastry into the bottom and sides of the pan. Press the dough into the shell and crimp the edges in a decorative pattern. Using the tines of a fork, lightly dock the base of the shell. Place the shell into the oven and bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the bottom with the egg white. Set aside until ready to use.Rub the sweet potatoes with the vegetable oil and roast in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until very tender. Remove and set aside to cool. Peel the potatoes and pass the flesh through a fine mesh sieve using a rubber spatula. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of smooth sweet potato puree.In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato puree with the sugar, maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the heavy cream with the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the cream and egg mixture to the sweet potato mixture and stir to blend. Pour the batter into the prepared pie shell and place the pie on a sheet pan. Bake until the center is set and the tart is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting. We made whipped cream out of the leftover cream.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Berkeley

Ten years ago, I was one of maybe 50 people who demonstrated on Shattuck Ave. right in front of the Berkeley downtown Bart. We were railing against the first attacks on Afghanistan; we were a small tentative group, a little fearful of others’ reactions. The bombings were Bush’s response to the 9-11 attacks in New York, so if anyone was firmly against it, then their patriotism was also in question.

Mostly people kept their mouths shut and refused to talk about it. Even my anti-war buddies bit their lips, and then changed the subject. The demonstrations eventually got bigger, and then stopped altogether when Obama was elected. We thought everything would be okay.

Driving down the hill from the tunnels, I drove into town, not positive what time the demonstration would start. I found 2 different times on websites. It began at either 12pm or 1 pm. so I figured other people had trouble with the times as well and were late. I circled MLK Park and saw nothing except the crowded weekly Farmer’s Market.

It was a gorgeous October Saturday afternoon in front of me. Trees the color of fire and copper spread out on Shattuck Avenue. Tons of students everywhere, couples strolling hand in hand, knots of kids circling outdoor tables drinking coffee at cafes, or just basking in the soft sun. And still, no demonstration to be seen or heard so far. Finally after my third go around of the park and Farmer’s Market, I heard something. I saw a few cops on motorcycles and a couple of them on bicycles wearing shorts. Looking up the street I saw them and heard them, “The citizens united Can NOT be divided.”

Being generous, I would say there were about 200 people of all ages, not too many student types, carrying sounds, and chanting. It's never a good sign when you find open parking places across from a demonstration. I drove around the block to find not one, but two parking places across the street from the large park in front of city hall. Apparently the crowd had marched on the banks in a few tight little blocks and circled back to MLK.
It was a small, but determined group. I am a big supporter of the occupy movement, but my back has me in fits lately, unable to stand very long. I parked, but decided not to cross the street. I watched for awhile, took photos, listened to the chant and wished that more people had shown up. Oakland had a great turnout so they pulled people from Berkeley.

People keep asking what they want, telling them to define themselves, and to make a list of demands. There is no shortage of advice from my generation to theirs. I made a comment to one webpage: They are not asking for our permission or advice. Quit telling them what they have to do. They’ve done more in a month than we’ve done in years. Good on them. They’ve scared Wall Street a little. Hurray!

I know what they want for all of us: true democracy and fairness, a sense of fairness and justice, good, meaningful jobs, affordable housing, competent medical care, and inexpensive excellent education, and a clean environment. No, it’s not too much to ask. It’s what we all deserve for a happy life. I’m so proud of them and all they are doing!

We don’t know how this will end, but we need not be so attached to the results for a first effort. I personally haven’t felt this hopeful in years. As noted author and essayist Chris Hedges said, this is the best antidote for despair we've seen. And that's saying a lot because I think we've been full of fear, worry, doubt, sadness, and anger for far too long.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

We the People! Stand Up! Wall Street and D.C.

Lafayette California Gulf War Memorial Oct. 3, 2011

I grew up believing God kept his eye on us all, He leaned on me as I pledged allegiance to the wall.”

Paul Simon

I grew up believing we were a moral country, one with a vision of fairness, of exploration and brilliant ingenuity, when something was wrong or unjust, we tried to fix it, we knew we could. We took on slavery, civil rights, women’s rights, the Vietnam War, polio, and poverty. I thought people in the Congress cared about us. When I was a kid I thought they were statesmen.

No longer. I no longer look to any of them to take good care of us, the people who put them in office. I never would have believed that in my lifetime the Supreme Court would decide that corporations have the rights of citizens to give unlimited funds to influence politicians in Citizens United. Wall Street and politicians are one in the same. Maybe some are honest, but not many.

Their voices now put me to sleep. They talk; my brain goes dull like I’ve been drugged. We no longer have any influence on them. Do you remember how many of us wrote, called, emailed, and showed up in Washington D.C. telling them and Obama not to give Wall Street the bailout money? Did they listen? Did Obama listen?I'm sick of lies and disingenuous talk aimed at keeping us under control.

We've had sustained war for 10 years and adding more deaths each day so that our treasury has been gutted and we are told we have to cut services to children, sick, and elderly people. On Christmas Eve, I took a picture of the Lafayette California Gulf War Memorial. The number of deaths on 12/24/10 was 5822. Now there are 466 more soldiers who have died in this bloody war and all those families whose lives are changed forever. How many mothers and fathers in the U.S., Iraq, and Afghanistan have watched their beloved children being buried? What is wrong with us that we go along with this merciless slaughter? We know in our hearts that it’s so wrong.

This is what people need: good jobs, safe housing, competent health care, a stimulating and profound education, and a government free from the corruption of corporations. We need corporations and rich people to pay their fair share. I don’t care what Wall Street wants. I want a free press, not a corporate press. The wars are not for our benefit or some lofty goal. Who do they serve? Oil Companies? Arms dealers? It is not for the American people. We used to have trials, now we assassinate.

I no longer want to hear what the Democrats or Republicans have to say. They want their good jobs and their influence and power. How did this happen? Ask Congress why we can't go to a doctor? Have you seen those images on TV of doctors and nurses traveling around in our country en mass to provide health care like they were visiting a banana republic, but it turned out to be Oakland? Why can't we have green and good paying jobs? Healthy food without poisons? Medicines that don’t harm? A really clean and healthy environment? Why can't we have good education? Peace?

We can have every bit of those life giving and spirit saving elements in our country and more if we all paid taxes and our representatives served OUR interests. It’s not rocket science. It just takes political will.

Starting tomorrow, Oct. 6th, gatherings will begin, the largest will be in D.C. and New York. Occupy Wall Street is the brightest beacon of hope I’ve seen in years. I’ve read a lot of criticism of the people involved in Occupy Wall Street. I say they’ve got the best cure for despair I’ve seen in 20 years. We don’t know what will happen, but we’ve got to forget about being attached to results. It’s vital to retaining our democracy to be there or support them.I grew up believing we were a moral country. I think we can be that way again, but if we let despair sink any further into our bones we won’t be able to pull ourselves out. Let’s support all who stand up and say, “No More.”

Call to Action - Oct. 6, 2011 and onward-Human Needs, Not Corporate Greed-Statement about Oct. 6th

October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.We call on people of conscience and courage—all who seek peace, economic justice, human rights and a healthy environment—to join together in Washington, D.C., beginning on Oct. 6, 2011, in nonviolent resistance similar to the Arab Spring and the Midwest awakening. www.october2011.org Chris Hedges Why I’ll be There

Monday, September 12, 2011

Some Unsolicited Advice for Martha Stewart

Let me just say that I am a big fan and I love your show. I have daydreamed about living in your tasteful home, your prolific garden, and your gorgeous kitchen. I frequently visualize myself mixing complicated French fruit tarts in your minty green bowls.You’re so talented and very creative.

I hated that you were sent to jail, I admired your strength and internal fortitude to just do it without whining. I cheered your comeback and watch your show whenever I can. In other words, I have your back when I hear you being badmouthed.

This morning I was just fooling around, googling lots of different subjects, but I suddenly noticed all the articles about you, Martha Stewart, becoming a grandmother. Apparently last March, your 45 year old daughter, Alexis, had a baby girl by surrogate. Martha, you were on a business trip when the baby was born so you didn’t see your grandchild until the baby, Jude, was 3 days old.

I’m guessing (based on what I’ve read about their relationship) that Alexis is a little entitled. I watched the TV show Alexis had with her girlfriend where she and her friend made fun of you following your programs. It was produced by your production company so I’m assuming they had your permission. It was horrible and embarrassing, but Alexis must have made some money off of it.

I think, Martha, that your were probably not an easy mother, I get that, but I see trouble in your future so I’m offering my help. You have your area of expertise and I have mine. My area is being a grandmother. I have 4 grandchildren under 7, three girls and one boy. I even write a blog called, to document my experiences with my babies. As I've said, I’m an admirer and also a grandmother with some experience now; I have some advice if you would like it. Yes? Read further. No? I still love you and my feelings aren’t hurt. Well maybe a little…

1. Your daughter was going to return that big box full of embroidered baby things you gave her and buy herself something. I have a sneaking suspicion that Alexis is going to use this baby as some kind of weapon against you. Back off with buying stuff until later when your daughter settles down. It’s the way of heartbreak, honey. Don’t let her break your heart over stuff. Maybe Alexis wants some presents?

2. Martha, you said you don’t want the baby to call you ‘grandma.” Are you kidding me? First off, the baby will call you whatever she can pronounce. I was “Dama,” then ‘Bama,” and finally “Grandma.” Just wait. You can decide when she finally gives you a name. It is the baby who will probably name you.

3. In a few years, Alexis is going to want some time off. Also it may not be years, probably weeks. Just wait. Your daughter is doing this alone so she will need you. Just let her know you will be there to help.

4. Something Alexis needs to hear: Your mother and your daughter will have their own relationship that has nothing to do with you. You don’t own your child, Alexis. You do have the right to limit things, but geez, give your mother a break. Grandmas do get to spoil a little, like staying up a little later, extra ice cream. For God’s sake, lighten up a bit. Both of you.

5. Martha, let this little girl decide what you do with your time together. When she starts to walk, just follow her. She’ll adore your yard and plants, the outdoors. Make her little boats to float in rain puddles. Make simple cookies. Have some songs she likes and sing them all the time. Do bring her books like Alexis says, but you’ve always valued handmade stuff. Make some books with her. Get out your sewing machine. I made my granddaughter a revamped Barbie RV that was so fun to do. I make paper dolls and pear tarts. In other words, do stuff together if you can. It’s so fun you won’t believe it.

6. You have all the money in the world. Cut back on your work so you can spend time with this little girl while she’s still under 5. You will never regret it. I promise.

7. I think you may be a person who is really hard on herself, Martha, but this little girl will absolutely love you beyond reason and love you for just arriving on her doorstep, before you even do anything. You won’t believe how that feels. Talk about unconditional love. Even if you make mistakes. Just enjoy this baby.

8. The purity about being around small children is that it is just like meditating, you are just in the moment with them. This time is magical. Don’t miss it.

9. And Alexis, I know that it took me a long time to view my mother as another woman with needs and faults, etc. This period is really important for you, your mother, and your baby girl. Remember this: the more people who love and share their lives with your child, the better. It will only enrich her experience of the world.

So, that's it, Martha. I wish you smooth sailing as a grandmother. It's really the best thing. Except, now you have one more person to worry about, fret over, lose sleep about, and hold in your heart every day. If you need any more advice, just call.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

She Wears Her Love Like Heaven

Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished. ~ Mary Oliver

Allow me to spend a few minutes telling you about the youngest baby in our family, Ava. She’s 17 months old with very blond wispy hair not long enough to make ponies or use barrettes yet. Big dark blue eyes and a giggle like a stream of pure water in a bubbling brook, Ava puts her head back and laughs so you can see her latest molars.

She’s been on her feet since a few days before her birthday, then began running full speed. Her latest trick, while her big sister Rebecca does her version of River Dance, is to dance on her tip toes. Who knew a baby could be so clever?

When I come to the door she bangs the top of her head three times with her hand, points outside, and runs for the refrigerator. That is shorthand for, my sister is home, let’s play outside, and can we bring a Popsicle with us? As I said, Ava is very advanced. My daughter was teaching her baby sign language, but she has made up some of her own that we all understand.

There is a circular space through the kitchen, dining area, and living room where a child can run in circles for hours without hitting her head. When I come over, Ava will get her sister to run with her, she stops short in front of me so I can say, “Boo, “ which makes her scream, bend over at the waist to laugh, wriggle with delight, then run some more.

Before I had grandchildren I didn’t realize how much kids love routine, how they crave the same games, but they definitely do. When I stay for dinner, I get the pleasure of giving both the girls a bath. Sadly, my darling Rebecca is done with singing games and powder, but Ava still thinks Baby Magic lotion and Johnson’s Baby Powder are the most spectacular things. Lotion on hands, backs, baby bottoms, arms, cheeks, and powder everywhere spread around by little hands, and then topped with baby footie pajamas. She smells like heaven when I kiss her sweet cheeks and nuzzle her neck. I go home covered with powder and lotion, also, so much so I can’t stop at the store on the way home because I’m such a mess.

I still call her Baby. She’s probably my last grandchild so I keep my nose buried a little longer into her neck to kiss her, holding her a little tighter next to my heart, watching her a little longer , and savoring her sweetness while closing my eyes to remember her at just this very moment. Then I release her knowing she's off to her business of growing up. Which, of course, is how is should be.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Where Has Mary Gone?

I’ve always really liked Mary. She was always easy to talk to and she was always kind. I never bought the namby pamby virgin they tried to sell to us as children. I saw her as strong, regal, a woman with her own mind, and internal power. So when she showed up in my home town a few months ago I was thrilled. Who wouldn’t want Mary to show up?

People who have been following the story of The Surfing Madonna knew it was going to happen, but still. It was shocking. She was here, then boom. Gone. Mysteriously our beautiful blue Mary showed up on the corner of Vulcan and Encinitas Boulevard a few blocks from Moonlight Beach in Encinitas on April 22 of this year and disappeared last Saturday.

Born under the Coaster train underpass, the gorgeous blue/green/golden mosaic showed up right before Holy Week and was an immediate hit. Tall, yet holding herself like the queen she is, Mary stood on the board arms extended, balanced on the surfboard, veils flapping wildly in the wind, her golden glow surrounding her with her motto to the left of the 10x10 foot mural. None of this ‘pray to me’ business for our new Guadalupe sister. It’s Save our Ocean. Her message is timely, simple, and profound.

The city council of Encinitas, the southern California beach town where I raised my kids, had a fit. They called her ‘illegal’ (kind of like her other sisters and brothers from Mexico), they called her trashy and demanded her removal. They reacted as if gang graffiti had been painted there. The city called in experts to assess how much it would cost to remove her. They even spent $2,200 of city money for an estimate.

Mary’s image captured the imagination of the community and even the nation’s news. Her beauty, the mystery of her appearance, her message of saving the ocean brought people to the corner to see and touch her. Mary even had her very own flash mob who wore long Spanish mantilla’s on their heads and held candles. St. John’s, the local Catholic Church, told the city they would welcome the mosaic on its coastal campus. Other businesses on PCH 101 offered her a sanctuary as well.It was all too much.

The artist had hoped to remain anonymous, but when they threatened to take her apart and haul her away, coastal artist Mark Patterson came forward. He had dreams about Mary for years, finally he heeded her message. Mark traveled to Italy to learn mosaic, gathered the stained glass, and created her as a gift to the city with a reminder of the ocean’s vulnerability. Patterson agreed to a fine of $500 and to pay the fee for the removal estimate. Mark’s looking for a place for Mary along Pacific Coast Highway that won’t cause a traffic hazard so he and his friends took Mary down, carefully took her apart until they can find her a new home.

I’ve been thinking lately about how important art is in our lives. It surely evokes emotional responses such as hope or horror. It has the capacity to lift us higher, make us cry or laugh, or demand it be removed from our sight. Art elevates the conversation, shows us something new about ourselves. It can give us a glimpse of our better angels or our worst destructive tendencies. Art reflects our humanity back to us so we can examine who we are.

"We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born." Meister Eckhart

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quitting Smoking: Getting Over Myself

I remember thinking a few years back, “What if I treated myself the way I treat my kids? What if all that love and understanding, compassion and forgiveness, unconditional kindness was directed to my own heart and head?” What a revolutionary thought! Like every good Mama, I dismissed the idea. Ridiculous. Well, I never did anything with that thought before now and I can say with certainty, it really did the trick.

My last blog was January 30th, four months ago. At that time I said I was looking for a way to transform myself in a good way. I don’t know if I’ve accomplished what I meant, but I did quit smoking and had to wait a month to be sure I had a handle on it before I came back to Open Salon. Nothing worse than a self-congratulatory hypocrite.

I did it. I kicked the habit. How did I do it, you ask? With an acute awareness of my lack of self discipline, tons of patience, and kindness to myself. I never thought I could do it. I’ve tried so many times and failed miserably. This is the first time I just took my time and learned how to do some serious and kind self-talk. Oh, and drugs. I took Chantix for 3 months.

I started to smoke at 13, buying my cigarettes at vending machines in gas stations. I seriously started smoking at 18. I grew up in a world where most of the adults smoked. In the 70’s, I smoked through 2 pregnancies without the doctor saying a word about it. It has been 43 years since I woke up without running for a smoke to go along with my first cup of coffee.

Breaking my habits one by one, I started with the first cigarette in the morning and the last one at night. I used to smoke 3 cigarettes before even took my shower. I won’t tell you that I didn’t love it. I did. Even now, probably 2 times a day I have an intense craving. But if I breathe deeply, remember what a drag tasted like, I’m fine. The moment passes.

The downside of quitting: The drug gave me terrible insomnia. I had crazy acid dreams that woke me up and I couldn’t fall back to sleep. For example, I was being told to jump in a well with a walrus. I was saying,”No, you have to tell me your plan for getting me out.” I didn’t get an answer so I didn’t jump, but I opened my eyes at 1:12 a.m. and stayed awake all night.

I would have to take an over the counter sleep pill before I went to bed to sleep enough to go to work to function, make a living. For one month after quitting the Chantix I was utterly, pathetically exhausted. That’s going away. I just realized I feel pretty good today and I’m going swimming.

The good reasons to quit: my grandchildren. I just don’t want them to remember me as the lady in the backyard by herself, margarita in one hand, cig in the other. I want to breathe and not be a sick old lady. That’s the truth of it. I was really nice to myself while I made mistakes, backslid, felt sorry for self. It worked. I waited longer each day to have one, finally realized how silly I was to have 2 a day for about 6 weeks. I just set the date and did it.

Do I miss it? Yup. Then I take a deep breath and it feels good. I am taking one day at a time. Conveniently, with an addicts’ sense of logic, I kept a pack by my bed stand with 2 cigarettes in it. I told my sister I kept them so that I didn’t feel deprived and I could have ‘em anytime I wanted. Then I realized that those words were like an alcoholic saying he can drink anytime he chooses.

I threw them out. Along with my hand lotion, mouth wash, and hand sanitizer in my front seat. Oh, and I got the new car.

I also promise if I walk by you in the street and you have a cigarette, that I won’t wave my hands and make hissing noises, with a disapproving scowl on my face. I hated that before and I hate it still. This is a beginning that I like. Cheers.

Though your destination is not clear

You can trust the promise of this opening;

Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning. john o donohue~

Friday, January 21, 2011

Aiden and I and MLK: A 5 Year Old's View of History

My grandson, Aiden, and I spent the school holiday together. He is beautiful with reddish blond hair, light blue eyes, and even has one big dimple when he smiles. I picked him up at 3:00 p.m. to drive him to my little cottage, or "my tree house" Aiden calls it. We make up songs on the way to my place and sing "Puff," "This Land is Your Land," though we only know one verse of each. Once we arrive, we have a plan.

Always one to initiate cooking projects, Aiden told me that he wanted to make a cherry pie. He began kindergarten last September so he is starting to understand or at least be aware of some historical events. Here is a recap of our conversation:

A: Grandma, today is Martin King's birthday.

Me: Oh yes, I know, Aiden. He was a good man.

A: He was shot dead. Then he died.

Me: I remember when it happened. It was very sad.

A: Did you know he was in JAIL, Granma?

Me: Yes. I did.

A: Why was he in jail, Grandma? (his auntie is a sheriff who works in the jails so he fascinated by the notion.)

Me: He broke a law, but it was a very bad law. Do you know what an unjust law is , Aiden? Some white people thought they were better than black people so they wouldn't let them eat in restaurants or drink from the same water fountains...there were terrible mean laws just for black people. He went to jail to change the laws so that they said we are all the same.

A: What's dead mean? Is Martin in heaven, Grandma?

Round and round we went trying to make sense of a good man, trying to change bad laws, arrested, sent to jail, shot dead, and ending up in heaven.

And then we made pie. It was a good day.