Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 20, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 13



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 20, 2024 




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola


Michele Kidd

Stuart Tolchin 

Harvey Hyde

Audrey Swanson

Meghan Malooley

Mary Lou Caldwell

Kevin McGuire

Chris Leclerc

Dinah Chong Watkins

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Rich Johnson

Lori Ann Harris

Rev. James Snyder

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Jeff Brown

Marc Garlett

Keely Toten

Dan Golden

Rebecca Wright

Hail Hamilton

Joan Schmidt






 I had great trouble sleeping and travelled 
from bed to chair to yet another chair searching 
for a position where the pain would let me 
sleep. Perhaps the pain is connected with other 
problems I am experiencing. I worry that I have 
forgotten much of my own past and I want to do 
what I have to do in the present. Next week there 
is an appointment with a doctor who I hope will advise me about 
what to expect. 

Yesterday morning, despite our worries, my wife and I went to the 
Dodger game where my wife’s cousin had been selected to sing 
the National Anthem preceding the game. Very exciting- but she 
noticed that I was in pain and suggested that maybe we shouldn’t 
go. I was adamant and said it would not be a problem, even though 
I worried. Upon arriving at the Stadium, despite having a handicap 
sticker displayed on our windshield we were directed to a parking 
area at what seemed like a great distance from the entry to the 
stadium. My wife asked if I was sure I could make the walk and, 
although, I was not sure, I said, “no problem" 

She reminded me to put on my Dodger long-sleeved shirt with the 
number 17 and the OHTANI name on the back. I put the Ohtani 
shirt on and made the endless walk to the stadium and trudged all 
the way to our seats. My wife had purchased aisle seats believing 
that an aisle seat would be easier for me, but I dreaded the arrival 
of the incoming fans to our row which would continually require 
me to get up and get down to allow them to pass.

 I worried. Why had I chosen to endure this unnecessary and 
avoidable discomfort? Gradually, however, I noticed where we 
were. From our seats the grass playing- field was beautiful. The 
temperature was in the 70s but, in the distance, I viewed the 
beautiful snow-capped mountains. As fans arrived often carrying 
Dodger Dogs I complained to my wife that I would love to have a 
Dodger dog which should be a part of the whole experience. She 
looked at my gout inflamed knee and said that I did not need to be 
eating hot dogs.

Prior to the singing of the National Anthem the stadium filled 
up. My wife started talking to the couple seated next to her who, 
as it turned out, had specifically come to the game to witness the 
singing of the national anthem since they knew my wife’s cousin 
from church. The man had heard me complaining that I very much 
wanted a hot dog, he went and bought me one! There are always 
surprises in life!

The name Daphne Puccinelli was announced, and I had a chill 
hearing her as she beautifully sang the anthem. As my wife 
stopped crying, the game began with the visiting Nationals being 
first up. The first batter hit a home run. After that there was no 
more scoring by either team. In fact, the Dodgers had only five hits 
and three of them were singles by Ohtani. 

Overall, despite my continuing pain, the day seemed pretty perfect. 
As we were leaving the game I saw another man with an OHTANI 
shirt on. “Three hits” I said. “Yeah, but they were only singles” he 
said. I guess that’s my point. No matter what, one can always find 
something to complain about and something to be pleased about 
and that is the choice we all must make daily. I feel I am ready for 
whatever the doctor has to tell me; but it helps that my knee does 
not hurt as much today.


Ever engage in “doublespeak”? Not sure what it is? 

Well, let’s look behind the curtain and “take a peek at doublespeak”. (Hey 
that rhymes)

“Doublespeak” is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, misleads and 
sometimes reverses the meaning of words (Sounds kinda like the definition of advertising). 

I’ll give you a yummy example… Hostess Twinkies. You won’t find the word “healthy”, on 
any product produced by Hostess. Hostess describes Twinkies as “wholesome”. Wholesome? 
What does wholesome mean? “Does it mean good for you?” Lol! There is no official United 
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definition of the word “wholesome”. I guess 
if the truth be told, Hostess Twinkies and similar foods should come with a skull and 
crossbones printed on the packaging. That would be truth in advertising. 

Let’s press on.

Euphemisms are a type of doublespeak more evasive but not typically malicious. A good 
friend serves you their new homemade dessert and you respond with “what an interesting 
flavor” instead of “yuck, that’s horrible”.

“Puffery” uses doublespeak designed to make something seem better than it really is. The 
product size is described as “snackable” instead of “smaller”; “Shabby chic” replaces “old 
and worn out”. and Realtors will call a house “quaint” rather than “small”.

“Jargon” is doublespeak used by a particular occupation or group. Often designed to soften 
the actual reality of a word. For example: a “tree hugger” is actually a “environmental 
activist”. If you are a spy you would say you are engaging in “enhanced interrogation” 
instead of “torture”.

“Gobbledygook” is doublespeak used to be so confusing as to be incomprehensible. 


“I will sell you this painting for $10 bucks.”

Or in Gobbledygook: “When the party in the first part provides the aforementioned goods 
to the party in the second part, such party shall acknowledge receipt of said item once the 
party of the first part hereby warrants its condition as suitable for transfer and in light of 
exchange of consideration.” (Got that?)

“Upon documentation of said patient’s symptoms and conducting an examination of her 
otolaryngological region, the ultimate diagnosis is a case of viral rhinitis.

Or in plain English: “The patient has a cold.”

Wordsmith and politician Daniel Webster defined politics as “The art or science concerned 
with winning and holding control over a government.” So, what is it, art or science?

“Art” is defined as “Skill acquired by experience, study, or observation.”

“Science” is defined as, “The observation, identification, description, experimental 
investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”

So, I leave you (and me) hanging over this rhetorical cliff with quotes from possibly the 
best two sources in history:

Will Rogers once said, “The more you read and observe about this politics thing, you got 
to admit that each party is worse than the other.”

And regarding Julius Irving Marx, aka “Groucho”: French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard 
either created or quoted this oft used phrase in France’s students pseudo-revolutionary 
unrest in 1968: “Je suis Marxiste, tendance Groucho,” which translates:

“I’m a Marxist of the Groucho variety.”

P.S. If you happen to run into a bedraggled person living on the street, think about going 
up and slipping him or her $5. I didn’t do that for a long time thinking it might be used 
for harmful addictions. I have softened over the years and tell the struggling soul this 
contribution to their quality of life is coming from me and the Lord. And be blessed.

And who knows, someday you or I might be working for one of those struggling fellow 

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My mother scraped the dank inside belly of the 
earthenware pot, the musky scent of fermented 
tilled soil with whispers of wet shiitake mushrooms 
wafted up. The pot yielded nothing. Dinner 
must be served, but the nearest Chinese market 
was a three hour drive, I shirked, looking for 
an escape but I knew what her determined eyes 

“Auntie, can you give me some gou-see?”

Auntie Lim, our only Chinese neighbor who lived five blocks away, 
burst out laughing, my Elton John saucer-sized eyeglasses shielded 
me from her barrage of spit.

Annoyed with her response, I repeated my request - only louder. She 
doubled up cackling, tears spilled down her cheeks. She waved me to 
stay on her front porch, gagging for air as she made her way into her 

Minutes of rapid fire conversation followed, bookended with guffaws 
and hilarious shrieks. Auntie Lim returned to the front door with a 
small rice bowl. She passed it to me with one hand while pointing to 
it with the other,

“ Dou-see. DOU-see.”

When I got home, I learned that dou-see means fermented black 
bean. Gou-see is dog poop. My mispronunciation has become a longstanding 
family reunion staple, continuing to the fourth generation. 

Over three decades, I have wrangled in a sub-par manner, four languages 
and dialects. My tone deafness in Mandarin and Cantonese, 
both tonal not phonectic, contributed daily to misunderstandings, 
and buying services and goods I did not want at prices I could not 

But that was to be expected in a foreign country. Ending up with multiple 
bottles of hair conditioner and no shampoo because you can’t 
read the indecipherable script, or being served braised offal and intestines 
instead of what you thought you ordered - beef and broccoli. 

It was a relief to come back to where I didn’t need to rely on picture 
menus, sub-titles, charades and Google Translate. Here was a place 
I could confidently speak my mind, “A double latte, half-caff, single 
pump butterscotch, extra creamy oat milk, no foam, with a sprinkle 
of cinnamon dust.” 

It turned out to be a hard landing. Unschooled and sheltered by decades 
lived out in one-party government propaganda; whilst my gray 
matter could still comprehend English verses from 400 years past,

“But soft! What light does yonder window breaks? It is the east, and 
Juliet is the sun.” William Shakespeare 

now, plonked down in the 21st century amongst an army of opposable 
thumbs and 5G networks, the currency of language is frankly, 
quite lost on me. Reprimanded to text before calling, ready to take 
on the mantle of the Anti-RIZZ GOAT, resigned to the unbreakable 
code of emojis with their viral backstories and in-house jokes - I surrender 
and by way of recompense, will switch to a Jitterbug phone, 
stick with unlimited calling/no text, and upgrade my 
email account to 25G.

As for the fermented bean and dog poop mixup, I’ve spent hours 
honing my articulation, the beans to be spoken in a sharp downward 
tone and dog as neutral or was it the other way? Maybe I’ll just stick 
to sweet and sour.

Dinah Chong Watkins column appears every 1st and 3rd Saturday 
of the month.

For more Close Encounters Of The Wrong Kind go to www.ceotwk.

Mountain Views News

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