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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Gobble, Gobble

It just dawned on Jen and I that this coming Thursday is Thanksgiving. Oof.

I won’t be out on the official Xmas shopping kick-off – “Black Friday.” Nope. Can’t deal with the crazed crowds Oh…wait. Black Market is happening over in Dudley Square!
BLACK MARKET is a retail pop-up market in Dudley Square established by local entrepreneurs for local entrepreneurs driven by the mission to revitalize Boston's Black Creative Economy.
Hand made goods!

Amongst all the vendors is clothing designer Stanley Rameau of I Am Kréyol. Christ on Chantilly lace with ruffles, I love his work!

You can find Black Market at 2136 Washington Street in Roxbury, Massachusetts .

What about the real, non-shopping, meaning and origins of turkey day? Ya know, the whole happy pilgrims and Indians getting together for a thanks-be-to-god din-din story. As with a lot of the supposed history we leaned in school, this one’s a goddamn myth.

For starters, those generic Indians you see in all the cute Thanksgiving clip art? They were Wampanoag. The name of their nation means People of the First Light. These were real people not stock characters out of central casting. 

Did you know? The day’s Celebration came into being after a massacre. No shockerooni, it was the Indians (Pequots) getting all massacred up.
The Governor of Plymouth William Bradford wrote: “Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire…horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them.”
Gosh, how pleasant.
“For the next 100 years, every Thanksgiving Day ordained by a Governor was in honor of the bloody victory, thanking God that the battle had been won.” (source)
The Wampanoag and the pilgrims were NOT big buds. In fact, the pilgrims regularly raided and stole from the Wampanoag. Nice folk, eh?
Remember Squanto, the pilgrim’s best red helper? He was a slave. Sure he was helpful – that was his damn job and his way of surviving.

The original Thanksgiving, by the by, was one of the pilgrim’s usual harvest fests that got a little outta control.
In 1621, when the Pilgrims were celebrating a successful harvest, they were shooting guns and cannons into the air. The Wampanoag chief and 90 warriors made their way to the settlement in full warrior mode—in response to the gunfire. As the Huffington Post’s Richard Schiffman puts it, “It remains an open question, however, whether the Wampanoag were actually invited, or if they crashed the party.” (source)
It wasn’t until old Abe Lincoln came around that the myth of Thanksgiving became enshrined. The holiday has everything to do with the Civil War and a great Prez attempting to bring the divided country back to together.

What will I do on Thursday? I'll start it at the Y, attempting to swim off the calories in advance. This year's McMurrer feast will be at Jen and Oni's house. Convenient! I'm not one for big parties – can't lipread big gangs of jibber-jabbering partiers. Keeping up and involved is impossible.  So that I can attend and be more than a doorstop, everyone's gonna have their iPhone voice recog devices handy. That and Jen will likely sign for me.

I'm cautiously optimistic

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fried Day

Well, it’s finally fucking Friday or Fried Day as I often think of it.

There’s a few things on my bean this morning.

First, I’ve got nothing much to add to the whole Al Franken brouhaha. Mindy Fischer on her Facebook page and Jim Wright over at Stonekettle Station have covered it handily.

All I gotta say is this, everyone should be held to the same damn standard, including the pussy grabbing miscreant in the White House.
Trump has been accused of rape and attempted rape a total of three times, once involving an alleged victim who was a year younger than Moore's accuser. (source)
Franken was a prickish boor, not a rapist or a child molester. He’s sincerely apologized (and his accuser has accepted it and said he should NOT resign over this) and he called for an ethics investigation of himself (which, I’m guessing, means there’s nothing else to be found).

Enough about Franken.
~~~
I’m in Diet Plateau Hell but at least I’ve not gained any dreaded weight back. Trying to shed excess poundage during the heinousosity of Mango Mussolini’s reign of error and terror is especially challenging. Yes, I deserve a medal. NO, I deserve CARROT CAKE…mmmmmmmmmmm.
~~~
On a crowded red line train earlier this week, I noticed a clot of young folk – they were together. All were deeply immersed in their tiny phones, not talking with one another. I remember life before tinyphones when people read BOOKS, talked to friends or just sat silently cogitating as they voyaged from Park Street to Alewife or wherevs.

Also too, hey you kids, get off my lawn!
~~~
Michelle Combs over at Rubber Shoes in Hell has a post up which is, more or less, about empathy. She mentions that, when watching movies:
I hate when characters are humiliated or embarrassed or caught in compromising positions. I find it physically painful to watch.
Yeah, I can SO relate. This is part of why I mostly stick to sci fi, fantastical, can’t-really-happen flicks. Still, during the particularly nerve-wracking parts, I either gotta leave the room OR start doing sit-ups (rilly). The scene in Galaxy Quest where the aliens visit drunk has-been Jason Nesmith. On a prosaic front, the scene in Fargo when Marge Gunderson meets Mike Yanagita. Yeah, this.

Obvs, I’m a real treat on movie dates.

As it turns out, there’s a perfect, descriptive word for this in Finnish.
Myötähäpeä
This translates, roughly, as co-embarrassment or secondhand embarrassment. Exactly! How to pronounce myötähäpeä though?

And that’s all I’ve got for today. Cheers!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pressurized

I dreamed that I was crossing over a roiling river on a trestle bridge, much like the Fort Pitt Bridge in Pittsburgh or the Bridge Street bridge in Brattleboro.

I had been driving some big old sedan, transporting a bunch of important boxes (contents unknown) to an important (unnamed) destination. When I reached the span, the road itself and my car vanished, *POOF*. I was still on the street leading to the bridge, now carrying all the packages in my arms. All that remained was the structure's cast iron skeleton.

I was stunned and more than a little bit perplexed. How am I supposed to cross now? This is a bit much, don'cha think? Also, what the mondo fuck!

I had to get to the other side.
Slowly, I made ultra cautious moves, toeing down the thin girders, struggling mightily to not fall into the drink or drop any of my, allegedly, precious cargo. Occasionally, I'd steal nervous, timid looks at the endless line of human traffic, backed up behind me. This pavement-free span seemed absolutely normal to all of them and they were, to a one, astro peeved with my snail-ish progress. If they still had car horns (everyone's cars had pinged out of existance) they'd have been honking like a flock of beyond the pale, pissed off geese.

Pressure? What pressure?

What up with this nasty little nocturnal panto? It’s my bloody state of mind lately and…goddammit, just see yesterday’s post. K? Pretty sure I need a cookie RIGHT NOW.

Oni, while cleaning out the basement, found a stack of The Amazing Bob’s poetry – ten notebooks worth. I’d wondered where all TAB's older, pre-Valhalla, writing was. I'd thought they were lost forever. *PHEW* As yet, I’ve not been able to gin up the starch to crack any of them open. I think, knowing this’ll be both wondrous AND an extra special, surefire sob-a-thon spark, I need to set the stage. I’ll place his books in a circle around me on our cozy bed, light a few of his candles (TAB loved smell-good candles and I still have them all), have a lovely cup of Chianti at hand and dive in. Saturday, when there’s nothing else on the calendar, will be a good day to wrap myself in his words.

Under Pressure – Queen

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Being Kind to Myself

Great White by Terry Goss
You’d think this’d be an easy thing. Right?
OF COURSE I’ll be good and forgiving and supportive to me! If I don’t do it, who will?
Heh, here in Realityville, most (if not all) of my chums are a whole shit-ton nicer to me than I am to myself. I’ve always been my hardest judge and critic.

Fer instance, yes, I need to get regular exercise and I generally do. Missing a day or two at the Y is no cause for alarm and mondo excoriations. For the most part, I’m not a lazy old soul. I often feel akin to the Great Whites – if I’m not in constant motion I’ll die. Getting myself moving is usually not a major deal but why let that little truth stop my self-maledictions?
Side note: I began worrying and wondering. How/when do the Great Whites sleep ? Or, ya know, can they ever take a chill pill, kick back and watch Roadrunner cartoons or whatev? I asked Mr. Google and yes they can (the report was unclear though – Great Whites may prefer Bugs to Roadrunner. More research is obvs called for).
Why have I neglected my Y time this week? I’ve been doing serious housecleaning. This wasn’t just simple redding up, no. I was doing the penultimate transformational bits on The Amazing Bob’s study. It is now a real live guest room. There’s a sweet little desk in there now, rugs, a dresser and a nice futon. Paintings cover the walls. I reviewed all his papers – boxed and set aside the important stuff like his poetry, a diary and other random floss. The rest was binned (such as his older brother’s passport. Phil’s been dead 15 years now. I think it’s safe to part with it.)

Cleaning really should count as exercise. I Googled it and got mixed answers.  A little yes, a little no but mostly, it depends. *sigh*

All I know is that I was and still am exhausted. I realize this is also emotional exhaustion.  Sorting through/reviewing TABs papers, giving away his desk, getting rid of his rickety particle board bookshelf, mutating his study into a cozy little guest room feels wrong at the same time it’s right. I, seriously now, thought for a sec, I need to change this back. What if he comes home tomorrow. Yeah, I immediately slapped myself silly, he’s dead you dim fool. Dead, as much as I wish it were otherwise, canNOT dance and my beautiful, brill man ain’t comin’ home.

I’m trying to find balance. Moving on and mourning. Living my life and honoring the one I had, that I shared with the incomparable Amazing Bob. Unlike Keith Carradine, this ain’t easy.

So then, I’m done with the metamorphosis action for the week. Today I’ll return to Y central – take a water tai chi class, swim a few laps, spin on the elliptical for a bit and hopefully send my mind on a mini-vaca.

Also too, that canvas on my easel isn’t gonna paint itself. Time to dive into the acrylic and oil stick pool.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cats and Crazy

WUT!!?
Coco woke me early this morning. She was very subtle about it…for her. She climbed onto my hip as I lay on my side and then amped up the gravity to Jupiter levels. I only mention it but, I could give my weight loss efforts a real jump if I moved to Mercury or Mars.

Hmmm, there’s an idea! Obvs I need to reread The Martian Chronicles to study up for this endeavor. Or maybe just look through some Calvin and Hobbes comics, eh?

Why was my precious princess all “get the fuck up NOW” at 3:30? LURV, my kitten needed lots of chin skritches and pats. Yes, I live to serve.
After waking her human, molto early,
Coco retires to her cozy aerie for a much needed rest

On the outdoor front, it looks like Ghost Cat’s gone for good. This, of course, gives me a solid sad. Umlaut however, is now here on the regular. No pics yet. He (possibly she) is a gorgeous black short hair who isn’t quite as shy as GC. I’m hoping Um-Baby gets inside curious before the first snow. It’d have to be Jen and Oni’s crib, not mine though. Coco is happy as a high tide clam about her only child status. Also too, after being a three cat home, J&O are running a two cat deficit.

Just a heads up – now that the weather's finally chilled out, it's hot toddy season. Jen makes THE best toddy. Just thought you should know.

Word for the day:
Oxymoron
:a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness)
:something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements
Conservative Christian Morality – that’s the biggest oxymoron I can think of.

Over at The Daily Banter, Ben Cohen shreds one of the head hypocrites.
The entire basis for Fox News host Sean Hannity's existence is the moral superiority he has assigned himself by virtue of his religion and political affiliation. Hannity has spent decades hammering liberals for their godless depravity, extolling the moral virtues of the Christian deity, Republicanism, and free market capitalism.

However, if you look at Hannity's record on moral issues, one thing becomes abundantly clear: he'll forgive all sins if you are a Republican, no matter how appalling they are.
He goes on to list some of Hannity’s more heinous, bullshit spewings. If you're up for a bout of rage induced indigestion, well, go read. Why does this man have a televised podium? Oh yeah, the Fairness Doctrine is dead.

And then there’s the priapic child molester and soldier of GOD™, Roy Moore:
the latest: a (fifth) woman named Beverly Young Nelson today accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16 and he was in his thirties, and both The New Yorker and the Alabama news site AL.com are reporting that Moore was known to prowl a local shopping mall in search of teenage girls around that time. (source)
He was BANNED FROM A MALL! This'd be hilarious if it was in a Kubrick flick, eh? Too bad this is reality. Will Alabamans elect this cretinous sicko to the senate?

Even that total fanboy of all things to the right of George Wallace, Ted Cruz, is beginning to step off the Moore pedophilic bandwagon. Just beginning to, mind you. The man hates to be hasty about his fellow reactionaries.

I think I need another hot toddy now.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Empty Suited Demons

René Magritte – The Pilgrim
I had a dream about a man I used to work for. When he first became my manager, at a large quick print company in Boston, we were both in our 20s – me 24, him 27.

George was a high energy guy – he seemed intelligent, interesting and competent. We even had a few beers together. He seemed OK, had done a few intriguing things (like working his way through college by teaching ESL during summers spent in Norway).

It didn’t take long though, for his serious flaws to become painfully apparent. To climb our wee internal ladder, all an employee needed to do was flatter him shamelessly whilst wearing professional garb. Being bright, hard working or particularly adept seemed a few miles beside the point.

René Magritte – Man in a Bowler Hat
Now, despite my ripped, paint flecked clothing and decidedly unsycophantic tendencies, George kept trying to promote me. Why? Beats the fuck outta me. I was industrious and smart with a good head for numbers BUT I was a little too punk by way of chaos demon hippy for the corporate track. All I wanted to do was put in my eight, with as few annoying people around me as possible (unpossible – EVERYone was annoying even/especially me!), and then go home to my easel. Yup, I was a real anti-social/social treat.
To be fair to myself, in my 20s specifically, I was working very hard on my own personal evolution. I needed to process and overcome all the damned serious damage from those pesky slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I was (and still am) a work in progress, an unfinished canvas.
Time passed. George was promoted to GM of all the satellite locations.This elevated position required way more managerial savvy versus worker bee chops. George’s profound lack of people skills were jumbotron magnified.

René Magritte – The Titanic Days
The men he promoted were generally well dressed, slippery tongued types who, if George wasn’t by their side, reverted to type – Olympic level slackerdom. The women he promoted, best I can recall, were smart and hardworking. None too bright though. Almost all of them were dancing the sweaty horizontal two-step with him. He wasn’t strong-arming them into the sheets. Nope. I imagine most were sure this was an office romance (with the boss! swoon!) that’d lead to a diamond clad walk down the aisle. Were any of them aware that he was just boning his way through the company? Sure, why not? Had to have been one or two.

Eventually he hooked up with one of the company’s new VPs. Sheila didn’t know George’s egregious rep but couldn’t she see? The man was practically a walking billboard for Oleaginous Empty Suit™. Nope, she could not. I really liked Sheila – thought she was smart as all hell, strong, real, admirable. I think she was all those things but, for whatever reason, she fell for this cut-rate Lothario. They even married though she eventually snapped to and divorced his sad sack.

We all rock some damage which can skew our judgment. I wonder what Sheila’s was. I wonder what George’s was. He really was a smart, interesting guy before his demons cannibalized any kind-hearted intelligence he once had.

How did he appear in Dream Land last night? As a tyrannical executron yelling at me, berating me for not working harder. I yelled back I HAVE NEUROFIBROMATOSIS TYPE 2, I’M WORKING AS HARD AS I CAN, MOTHERFUCKER!

Ummmmm, I suspect old George was actually me and, boyhowdy, I gotta cut myself some slack.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bits 'O' Tid

I dreamed that a friend (OK, it was Jen) was preggers. She’s post menopausal so this’d be a wicked neat trick. More interesting still, when she went in for the ultra sound, the docs noticed a bee buzzing around in there. Yeah, a live honeybee. It’d somehow gained entry and was floating and flying around in her ute. Poor little worker fella was def unhappy in there.  Jen wasn't thilled about it either – especially when the medics said, there’s nothing we can do. The bee will come out when you give birth.

Dunno how the fetus felt about his new roomie. He didn't say.
~~~
dictionary.com’s word for the day is eurhythmic. Wow, that’s a real live word and not just a band. Waddya know.
It’s an adjective meaning :
1: characterized by a pleasing rhythm; harmoniously ordered or proportioned.

2: of or relating to eurhythmics.
Janey's new eurhythmic cut and dye job looked flat out stunning on her.

Shouldn’t that be capitalized?
~~~
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I just can NOT wait to see this! Frances McDormand could stand on stage farting and it'd be revelational. I've been wild about her ever since Fargo.
~~~
Paul Ryan’s bait and switch chicanery, re: those of us who criticize the Repub call for nothing but “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of mass murders, is pretty fucking disingenuous at the very least. He’s received $171,977 in donations from the gun lobby. That ain’t peanuts, that’s a bloody pay off.

But NOOOOOO, we’re just the far secular left and don’t understand the whole sitch. Godless Heathens R Us, don'cha know.

A majority of NRA members support this simple, handful of measures but Ryan doesn’t:
1) Requiring criminal background checks on gun owners and gun shop employees.
2) Prohibiting terrorist watch list members from acquiring guns.
3) Mandating that gun-owners tell the police when their gun is stolen.
4) Concealed carry permits should be restricted to individuals who have completed a safety training course and are 21 and older.
5) Concealed carry permits shouldn’t be given to perpetrators of violent misdemeanors or individuals arrested for domestic violence.
Why does Ryan hate Americans so much?
 ~~~
In the past 40(?) years, graffiti has gone from nuisance to being hailed as public art.  Yes, the boring old tags still show up BUT there is so much more. I've been lucky to see some incredibly brill work in Montreal, Phoenix, Reykjavik and here at home. Jen and Oni caught some amazing stuff on a visit to Venice, California. I'm always on the lookout for fresh beauty.

One street artist, Nina Wright (AKA Girl Mobb) in Oakland, California, on finding very few other women making public art, decided to open a door/water the earth/light a fire/INSPIRE and teach.

She founded and runs the Graffiti Camp for Girls:
OUR MISSION is to develop the talents and create opportunities for girls creating public art.
Graffiti Camp gives girls a creative opportunity to enhance their public art skills. Participants learn the process and skills to collaboratively create a mural based on themes decided by the participants.

Our artists provide creative counsel, image planning, an understanding of tools and application, and safety precautions necessary to use these tools and materials.

The end result of each camp is a mural designed and executed by the girls themselves.
I RILLY wish this had existed when I was a kid. Hells bells, I wish there was a camp like this here in Boston – Madison, Juliana, Helen and I would go. What a blast that’d be!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Still

TAB and Jen
Most mornings I wake up and wonder Is this real? It can’t be – The Amazing Bob isn’t here. He’s gone, never coming back. How can this possibly be?

This, by the by, is way too fucked up for words. I wonder, How can this be real? This horror show kicks off and ends most days even now, one year and 129 days after the heinous fact.

I’m still  sorting out who I am – cerebrating, with a big side 'o' surprise, over the fact that I’m actually able to walk and breathe without my handsome other half. That’s a thing – partners often refer to one another as my other half or my better half. TAB was exactly that – my other, better half. We were a team – a fused, inextricable unit. I feel as though I'm missing half my being. I am.

On so many levels TAB and I were very different. I love travel/my man was a homebody. I liked bombastic music of nearly all genres/TAB was much more into subtle, softer tunes – jazz, classical and folk. He was tall and thin/I’m short with curves. He was chilled out and mellow/I'm more Pop Rocks with a Mountain Dew chaser. We were both solidly who we are – out of step with most of the crowd around us, a little wacky and AOK with that. We walked hand in hand down the Life is Art, Wonderment and Cookies Highway. We were both very serious and molto silly.

And he’s gone. I doubt I’ll ever get used to this.

Today is Veteran’s Day. We never paid it any mind even though TAB had done two tours with the Air Farce (as he dubbed it). At least one full tour was in Nam. After he came home, was honorably discharged with medals and a mondo ulcer that put him in the VA for months, he joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Apart from mentioning one of the protests he took part in he didn’t talk about the war. Ever. I look at today and think – DAMMIT!

Today is also the first day of le weekend and I’m so desperately happy (as happy as I get now, that is) about that. I don’t work a  9-5 Monday through Friday gig and, often as not, I’m putting hours in on Saturday and/or Sunday. Open slots appear on my dance card in the middle of the week – all a bit catch-as-catch-can. So why am I psyched at Saturday’s arrival? It means that Jen and Oni are home.This morning Jen’s young nephew Patrick will be over for a few hours. We’ll watch Monsters, Inc whilst quaffing hot chocolate and cookies. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning.  Later, we’ll have our regular tea time (or Wochenende Teezeit – I SO love the German language!).

It’ll be a calm, amusing day. Yes, I’ll have to hit the gym and hit it hard but still, this will be a day that I can feel ok about, justified in doing nothing.