In 2018, I wish…

Image-1I always welcome a new year with hope and good will. I’m trying to continue that tradition this year but I find it extremely difficult to be as optimistic as I’ve been in past years. This is uncharacteristic for me. As a rule, I’m an eternal optimist, not a Pollyanna but I am generally optimistic.

This year, I started to think about the wishes/hopes I have for you and for me in the coming year. Once I got past the traditional love/hope/peace items, I began to realize that everything else on my list related to the disgraceful language, actions, disregard for the common (wo)man that spews daily from the White House and its current resident. And the lies. Never has there been a POTUS who could even think up as many untruths as this one tells daily.

This administration, along with our current Congress, has caused me to cry and rage in shame many times for an entire year. Making the rich richer and the poor poorer is their primary goal. Or maybe it’s destroying the environment by ignoring science. They’ve also done a bang-up job of alienating our allies and causing further rifts between us and our adversaries.

The best I can tell, no world leaders trust our President to do anything constructive. I used to worry a bit about George W damaging our international image. He did do some damage but our current “leader” makes me miss GW. At least George had a kind face and I didn’t gag when I spoke his name.

Even Pope Francis appears to have serious concerns about this President. He doesn’t usually speak his name in his comments, but it’s easy to tell whom he means to address with his concerns. According to Newsweek, the Pope was as unhappy with 2017 as I. He called it a “wasted year of death and lies, harming the environment and humanity as a whole.”

If you’ve read this far, thank you for letting me get this off my chest. Maybe now I can return to my happier self and look forward to another year. I wish you, and all of us, a year of peace and love and good health. And for myself, the ability to recognize that this, too, shall pass. I can’t change much, but I can change how I react to the injustices around me. I can work locally to elect better people in 2018. I’m sure as hell going to hope for a Blue Tsunami in the next elections.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I absolutely mean it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing down the sound bites…

There is too much garbage wandering in and out of my consciousness to make sense of it. The sad thing is the junk in my brain is coming straight from #45’s White House. Each day, before I have assimilated the previous day’s craziness, something new and more frightening comes down the pike.

I read somewhere on social media that we protesters/dissenters should write a list of concerns about our so-called leaders at the end of each day. Seriously? If I did that I would be more depressed than I am already. It’s impossible to keep up. The wee-hour tweets alone are enough to drive me over the edge.

Can my sense of humor get me through this? I can usually find humor in almost any situation, no matter how dire. And I have lived through some tough times. The best I can do is catch a smidgen of humor however brief and try to keep hopeful that we will soon begin the impeachment process.

img_1524Will the real President 45 please stand up? Hold on. He’s trying. Whoops. Try again.

I’m trying to make a joke here but it’s falling flat even for me. There is just nothing funny about Bannon being Trump’s mouthpiece. He’s the puppet master and 45 is the ideal puppet. I can’t laugh about that. Bannon scares the hell out of me.

Then there’s Kellyanne. img_1522-2I must admit I did get a good laugh when I saw her Inauguration Day outfit. It’s been well documented and she’s never going to live it down. I kept singing “Send in the Clowns.” (Sorry Judy Collins)

Though I still giggle every time I see a photo of her in her patriotic duds, I cannot help feeling anger and pity for her. She’s sold her soul to the devil. Her evasive style of speaking and her alternative facts are recorded for posterity. Her progeny will read it and weep.

How can a woman as intelligent as she is prostitute herself in this way? I have no answers. I’ll continue to mute the sound on my television whenever I see her face on the screen.

There’s nothing funny about our self-imposed immigration crisis. I won’t even try.

I think I will have to rely on my favorite satirist Andy Borowitz to give me a laugh or two as I struggle to make sense of our floundering nation. This quote from is him is not funny but it gives me a scintilla of hope. And I can count on him to make me laugh soon. Probably before the day is over. Thanks, Andy.img_1526

Before the nightmare begins…

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img_1511I dreamed about President Obama last night.We were standing side by side and I had my arm around his skinny little waist. I looked up at him (He’s way taller than I.) and I said, “I love you, Obama.” I suppose it was too up close and personal for him to respond, “I love you back.”

He did, however, give me that famous sparkling smile.

I learned recently that I actually know a person or two who are going to PEOTUS Trump’s inauguration (or as I sometimes say in-nausea-ration). I suppose any inauguration is historic and worth attending. This one is especially so because it’s the first we’ve elected a fascist.

I’m 73 years old and have voted in every election since I came of age. This is the first time I’ve feared that a presidential term would be the beginning of a very long four-year nightmare. I pray that I’m wrong.

Politics on Facebook.

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donkey_elephantEvery day I observe political postings on Facebook. I think that’s okay. I don’t mind seeing people promoting the candidates they like.  I do it too. Perhaps too often.   My theory, though, is that anyone who doesn’t care for what I post can block me or block a particular group that I’m prone to posting fairly regularly. I block occasionally. I have done so a few times recently.  Sometimes I delete the dissenting comment and carry on.  My opinion is just that — an opinion.  Please know that I have done a great deal of research before deciding whom I’m supporting.

When I first signed on to Facebook I gleefully jumped into the fray believing that surely the person who posted was longing for my thoughts on the matter. It took me longer than it should have to realize the poster probably didn’t want opposing  comments.  I learned much more quickly that I didn’t want them. That begs the question, “Why post political propaganda if no response is required?”

I’ve thought about this a great deal during our never-ending political season.  I believe it is human nature to want to voice our choice for a given political office. It feels that way to me and I’m obviously not alone.  It’s probably also natural to want to express our views on the candidates we oppose.  But maybe we should do that in our own space.

I’m still trying to figure out FB etiquette.  As far as I know there’s no guide to help me on my way. That means I am left trying to do unto others as I would like them to do unto me.  I’m not always successful but I try.

I dislike giving space on my site to dissenting views.  I’m a Democrat and I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.  I neither want nor need anyone to tell me I’m nuts for doing so.  And I’m assuming  they don’t want me to write in their space that I think they’re crazy for voting for one of those bloviating loose cannons running on the Republican ticket.

One more thing.  If either of the two GOP front-runners should be elected, the US, and indeed, the rest of the world will be in deep doo-doo. That’s my opinion.

Note: This is a blog post not a Facebook post. Dissent if you wish.

One-issue voting.

My youngest sister G called me recently.  She sounded excitable and at the same time disheartened.  Here’s a part of the conversation I had with her that day:

G – You know my friend Penny Ante?

Me – Yes, I think I remember her.  (Actually I remember her quite well.)

G – (Talking nonstop.)  She called me this morning and do you know what she asked me?!  She wanted to know if I would put a Romney sign in my front yard.  I told her no I wouldn’t put her sign in my yard because I’m voting for Obama.  Then Penny screeched, “You mean you’re FOR abortion!?”

At this point my sister, talking to me, lamented, “I don’t know anyone who’s for abortion.  Do you?”  I agreed with her, “No, I don’t.”

(I have just returned from a brisk two-mile walk through the neighborhood.  I often take this sort of break when I feel myself stepping on a slippery slope.  It helps me to arrange my thoughts into a meaningful perspective.)

It seems to me that voting is a multifaceted proposition.  When we take one issue and make it our reason for voting, we cheat ourselves, and in a sense, the American system.  It’s also, in my opinion, the lazy path to voting.

Voting is a privilege and a responsibility.  The responsibility part is sometimes difficult.  It requires us to be informed voters.  It means we listen to several angles on the same topics.  It means reading letters to the editor in the local newspaper.  It means listening to a friend who disagrees with you.  It means researching a candidate’s record on the matters that are important to you.  The fact that you and a candidate agree on one issue does not necessarily make him/her a good candidate.

Make a list (well, at least a mental one) of the issues that matter most to you.  Then, set about finding out how the candidates view those items on your list.  You can’t get the true picture by watching the same news channel all the time.  We all have biases and often they show.  It’s hard work to wade through all the garbage that accompanies our political races these days.  But it’s worth the effort.  And it’s our job!

Go on now, examine those candidates carefully.  Then vote!  Please.

I hereby retire my soapbox.  Well, for now. 

My Obama dream.

Last night I dreamed about President Obama.  With nothing but politics on television and in the newspapers, it isn’t strange that I would be dreaming about a candidate.  I’m glad it was Obama and not his opponent Mitt Romney.  I woke up feeling relaxed and hopeful.  Had I dreamed of Romney, I’m pretty sure I would have felt agitated and tired.

The dream.  Obama is mingling with the crowd and probably driving the Secret Service crazy.  It’s a fund-raising event.  These are people who can afford to donate twenty dollars to the cause, not twenty million.  I notice the President is looking from side to side as if he’s searching for something or someone.  His eyes come to rest on me.  (Isn’t this a cool dream?)  Then he says to me, “You!  Aren’t you the one who gave me that piece of fabric?”  I nod.  He continues, “I wasn’t impressed when you gave it to me, but look at it now!  Isn’t it magnificent?”

He points to a nearby wall.  On the wall hangs a tapestry.  It’s the most beautiful, colorful tapestry I have ever seen or even imagined.  There are numerous pieces of fabric, artfully joined together in glorious profusion as if they were born that way.  Every piece, every color is perfectly placed.  A wonder to behold!

President O puts a hand on my shoulder (I told you this is an awesome dream.), and somewhat wistfully states, “What great things we could accomplish if we would all come together like the pieces of this tapestry.”

Credit:  “Tapestry” donated by my granddaughter Maddy.

Disparate subjects: politics, and a musical cat.

The Democratic National Convention is in town.  The air crackles with excitement.  Okay, maybe that crackle is road rage.

I’m pretty sure Michelle Obama stayed at a hotel a mile and a half from my home last night.  I think that because the streets that form a perimeter around a certain hotel are closed.  The media have warned us for several weeks that traffic patterns will change.  And we all know that those folks are not particularly subtle.  Those changes, of course, cause detours and overcrowding of surrounding routes.  As I move about these next few days I will have to plan my trips a little more carefully than usual.

You might think I’m complaining, but that is not the case.  I am thrilled to have these guests in town.  I think what they/we are doing here is an important part of the American political process.

I considered attending the convention.  I chose not to.  I could have secured a ticket because I worked as a volunteer this summer.  I registered voters in a predominantly Latino neighborhood.  (We aren’t very subtle either.)  I decided instead to watch part of it on television.

Already today I have learned how Jeff Bridges makes a white Russian.  (With a lot of alcohol, by the way.)  To be fair, I also heard him talk at length about his No Kid Hungry project.  Bridges attends both political conventions because he believes strongly, as do I, that hungry children should never be politicized.  I give a resounding “Thank you and keep up the good work!” to Jeff and his children.

Now the other story.

I was in the kitchen recently cleaning the sink when I heard a sweet melodic sound.  I stopped being noisy and listened.  I heard it again.  And again.

The radio, ipod, and television were quiet.  There was no one else in the house.  At least that’s what I hoped.  Just Lulu the awesome cat.  She couldn’t have made that sound.

I dried my hands and tip-toed toward the music.  There was Lulu on the dining room table in a large bowl.  It’s what I call a low bowl because it has a low rim, or side.  I watched quietly.  She didn’t know I was there.  She lifted a front paw and swiped the rim of the bowl.  What a wonderful dulcet sound it made.  She did it again.  Another sweet tone.

Who knew a cat could do something like that?!  When the children were little we had a cat that played the piano, but this is a whole new level of feline musicality.  I tried to take a video so I could maybe enter Lulu in a kitty-cat talent show, but I was too slow.  I’ll try to be ready the next time she plays for me.What did I do for entertainment before Lulu came to stay?

“…and the livin’ is easy.”

I check the time.  It’s 7:30.  I’ve been lying in bed awake for quite some time, seriously considering the possibility of staying here all day.  An overhead fan slowly stirs the air giving the illusion of a lazy afternoon on the plantation where “the livin’ is easy.”  The air conditioning clicks on erasing my fantasy; so I stretch and roll out of bed.

When I was a child I thought that old folks who talked about the weather all the time were boring.  Didn’t they have anything more interesting to talk about?  The perspective of maturity and the reality of our current drought over much of the country give the weather an altogether different slant.

Even though I grew up in a small college town, the majority of the population in my mountain county lived off the land.  Weather is everything to farmers.  Of course they were going to talk about it.  Last night at nine o’clock the temperature at my house was still sitting on 90 degrees.  This kind of heat permeates every aspect of my being.  Of course I’m going to talk about it.

Being hot and sticky all the time causes me to lose patience with the “small stuff” which probably wouldn’t ordinarily bother me.  For example–Mitt Romney in London.  On a good day I would likely shrug, mutter “What an idiot.” and let it go.  Not so last night as I watched the news.  Instead, I had an overwhelming urge to write him a letter, send a text, call him — better yet, go hunt him down and give him my best (worst) nose-to-nose critique.  Lambaste him!  Give him what for!

Alas, another fantasy which must be erased.  I’ll try not to think about Mitt Romney in Israel and Poland.  Let us pray…

Y’all have a good day.  Stay cool.

On my mind…

Tiptoe through the window,             By the window, that’s where I’ll be,  Come tiptoe through the tulips with me. ~ Al Dubin & Joe Burke

I don’t know why this song was on my mind as I walked this morning.  I must have wanted someone to walk with me, but I didn’t see a single tulip.  The eye-catching beauty of the day was the ubiquitous azalea in all its glorious shades and hues and not one blooming at the same pace as another, rather like people, no?

I ponder as I walk.  Whatever pops in gets a bit of my time.  Today it was a bizarre incident from yesterday when I went shopping to pick up a couple of things I  needed.  As I was entering the doors of the store a sixty-ish white male walked briskly past me and tossed out, “What’s a liberal doing at the Wal-Mart?”  He didn’t slow down for an answer which is just as well since I stood there like a deer in the headlights wondering what the hell he meant.  Oh, yeah.  I have an Obama sticker on my car so he felt free to comment as if it were any of his business.  I decided I should come up with a retort for future reference in case there are others who feel inclined to challenge my views in public.  I thought of quite a few but most would not be appropriate as they would lower me to his level.  I decided on–“I find that question rather strange.  Why would you ask me that?”  I wonder what he would have done if I’d yelled, “Help! Police!”  After all I did feel somewhat accosted, threatened by him.

The fact that I felt threatened makes me a little sad, I think.  It speaks to the notion that I can still be intimidated by the physically stronger male in society.  Why is that?  I don’t really think I was physically in any danger.  If I were to take him on verbally and intellectually I would smash him like a bug.

Okay.  I’ve worked through the sadness.  Don’t have time for that.  Now I’m damned angry and I’m putting on my armor.  As soon as I finish this post I’m going to order t-shirts and yard signs and visors and everyone I meet will know I’m voting for Barack Obama.  I’m prepared to discuss it sanely with those who care to talk.  Those who simply want to stir it up are going to know I’ve been stirred.  (BTW, there’s nothing passive about that last sentence!)  Bring’em on!

Note:  This last photo is obviously not an azalea.  It’s a Lady Banks Rose and it blooms profusely every spring.  Then I whack it off and wait for it to come back next year.  I love it anew every spring.  It  makes my heart sing.

Calista Gingrich’s hat, er…hair.


With this post I step outside my comfort zone.  I started this blog by writing about my divorce.  But hey! Wait a minute.  Maybe Calista is right down my alley.  She is after all a poster child for the American OW aka other woman.  When I first heard the news that Newt was going to run for president, I thought,  “Are you kidding?!”  Wasn’t he tarred and feathered a long time ago?  Left the city in shame.  Good luck with that, Newt.  I’m thinking about a snowball’s chance in hell.

As Newt’s publicity increased, I noticed that his third wife Calista was always by his side.  Was she afraid he would cut and run with number four?  So… her ubiquitousness (My spell check doesn’t like that word, but I do.) was the first thing I noticed about her, but once I started to pay attention and realize that The Lizard really would run, I began to notice she was wearing a hat.  Hmmm.  That’s  rather unusual at a political rally.  A baseball cap maybe, but a hat?  It is so unusual that one night during the  newscast I got really close to the TV (I don’t have a giant screen and my eyesight is not what it once was.), and I carefully scrutinized Calista’s hat.  Holy crap!  That little white feather on the left side wasn’t a feather.  It was her hair!  How does she do that?

Now that I know the truth I would like to ask some questions of Calista and/or her hairdresser:  Whose idea was the helmet?  Don’t you know that no one looks good in a helmet, not even football players.  I read somewhere on the internet that your hair must be colored every two weeks so the roots won’t show, and that the cost each time is at least $300.  Is that true?  I also read that your goal is that your hair look exactly the same at every public appearance.  Why?  If it’s ugly today, it will be just as ugly tomorrow.  And in order for it to always look the same, you would have to have a practically full-time hairdresser.  How much exactly is your hair costing you?  And wouldn’t you rather spend it at Tiffany & Co.?  If you didn’t spend so much money on your hair, you wouldn’t have to run up your charge account at that high-dollar store.  This question is for the hairdresser:  What kind of hair glue do you use to make that little hairy feather stay in place?  My bangs keep falling in my face.  And I’m thinking that stuff, whatever it is, would solve my problem.  On second thought, never mind.  I kinda like for my hair to move.

One last thing before I go, I saw a photo of you in a blue suit and you were wearing a very attractive necklace.  It looked like a David Yurman.  Was it?  I don’t think Tiffany carries DY.