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Friday, May 26, 2017

It Was Bound To Happen

My Pittsburgh flight was to leave at 10:30 this morning. At six, before she had to be at work, Jen drove me to Logan. Yeah, I’d be a couple hours early (for the two hour advance of take off security dance) but snagging the ride meant that I wouldn’t be taking the bus to the Red Line to the Silver Line – a pain in the ass normally but, when humping luggage, even worse. ALSO, that wouldn't buy me anymore time really – I’d have to leave at 6:30 anyway.

Why not drive in? I’ll be visiting my father through Monday. Parking at Logan for three days/nights would run me close to a C-note. Nope, no can do.

I managed to blow through security, pick up brekkie and settle in to blog and surf the news sites (DAMMIT, that violent Anger Troll, Gianforte won!). Yeah, it’d be a long day but there’d be a nice early dinner party with Pop, Michal and Helen later, when I got in.

I strolled over to my gate a few minutes before boarding only to find that the flight had been cancelled! There’d been no email warning and no text. I dashed over to the Jet Blue Help desk and was told, at first, no other flights today. ‘the fuck!? They were about to rebook me for the next day when I sorta lost it. I have to get to Pittsburgh TODAY, NOT TOMORROW! I’m going to see my father who’s ill. 

The departure board this morning
She was shrugging her shoulders when I suggested she book me with another carrier who would get me there today. She said she wasn’t authorized to do that.

Well who is?!

 By this point I was molto upset and shaking like a Parkinson's patient in ful agitata bloom. Fun with nerve damage. Possibly this garners me a bit of sympathic, pro-level customer service. If so, I’ll take it.

The board just now.
She called her supervisor. There actually were two other Friday flights – one at 2:30 which was fully booked (she put me on standby), the other at 6PM which had room for me – not standby. OK, I’m on.

Now what? I didn’t have a ride home so that would mean, if I went home, two hours on the Silver to the Red to the bus before getting AND back. I wouldn’t be able to get home, back and through security once more before I’d need to queue up for standby. If I passed on this perferred possible flight time – took the 6PM flight – I'd still only have an hour at home before having to get back on the public transportation's Slow Ride.

What’s this mean? I’ve been here at Logan for nearly 10 hours.  Honestly, this is utterly surreal. I've felt trapped in airport limbo.

I think I’m beginning to hallucinate.  Is that Godzilla over there? Is Mothra with him? It’s been too long!

I’ve done a lot of walking around, my rucksack getting heavier with each step. There’s no decent bookstores, to say the least, so even when I can squeeze into a store without knocking over a display or three, I’ve already read the one or two interesting bestsellers. Also, there’s no lounge where I can duck out of the fluorescent lighting and wall to wall people and, possibly, nap. I asked!

Why was my flight (as well as myriad others judging by the departure board) ixnayed? Something about the flight deck crew being “illegal.” Once more, ‘the fuck??!!? Something to do with overtime. So then, this is a personnel scheduling banjax. Is Jet Blue not employing enough people to successfully float the biz?

Also too, what Logan needs is an inside-security-zone dorm for these and other heinous, unforeseen layovers. A world class book store with comfy chairs, a movie theater and halfway decent WiFi would be good too. C’MON this is Boston not Des Moines, get some decent, smart shit happening here!

So then, what was bound to happen. Great airlines, more often than not, don’t stay great. I used to only fly British Air when I crossed the big pond. And then they royally shit the bed. I liked Iceland Air but then there prices went way up. Dunno. If Jet Blue can’t staff their team adequately, well, I guess I’ll have to hunt up another way to get from Point B to Point C here in the previously good ol’ U.S. Jet Blue had a good run, a great one.

Possibly, for next year’s hoped for West coast trips, I should look into Canada Air.

Oh and that 2:30 stand by flight? Now "scheduled " for 6:15. 

Jellicle Origins

Where do we come from. I know, I know, Women are from Venus/Men are from Mars. (insert sky shattering eye-roll here)

Jen, Oni and I were discussing this before dinner last night. We know that Jen’s family emigrated from Ireland and Germany. Mine? Ireland, Italy and Germany. Oni’s mother’s family came from England. His father’s didn’t come here from elsewhere – they’re Seneca, one of the Six Nations (Haudenosaunee Confederacy) from Western New York.

But what about our respective ancient roots? You know, back before bi-pedaldom. It seems clear that our old ones were – no surprise here – cats.

Oni fer instance shares mas ancient roots with Maine Coon Cats. MCC’s are known to be big, sweet tempered yet mischievous, mellow and gentle. The boychiks can be shy. Also too – gorgeous, as is Oni Star.

Me? My foredaddies and mummies were full blooded tuxedo cat. Why am I so sure of this? After 14 years with Rocco and six with Coco, it seems obvs. Tuxes are known to be mega smart (and I ain’t no box ‘o’ rocks, mon ami!). Word is, they’re also extroverted, relaxed and street-wise  – all things which, to some degree, can be said of yurs truly.

My good Tux boy Rocco was street savvy but I wouldn’t, in any universe, call him chilled out or outgoing. Princess Coco is generally a people person but she has definite limits. Too much face-time and she retires to her high castle. I fall somewhere in between the two.

The Spruce tells me that:
  • People who have agreed to serve TCs as food providers and toy throwers are more attractive than the average humans.
  • Dogs are afraid of TCs.
  • People who win lotteries are statistically more likely to live with TCs.
  • Plants grown in houses where TCs reside are healthier and generally 20-50% larger than plants in non-TC households.
They’ve other completely unbiased, well researched factoids at the site. Def worth a look  especially if, like me, you’re descended from Tux’s.

Oni and I debated Jen's feline lineage. I was thinking her forebearers were calicoes, like Rosie. Rosie was rock solid focused on getting her needs met whether those were treats, naps or having her quiet time, watching the world rumble by from the porch window. And Bast help the poor soul who got in the way of her and her goal. She could be scary...JUST LIKE JEN!

Buzzfeed tells me that:
  • Calico Cats are Magical. (DUH!)
  • You can't breed them. (true!)
  • Over centuries, they migrated from Egypt to your living room. (Jen migrated from Scituate not Egypt but that’s a minor quibble, eh?)
  • They protect humans with their magic powers. (VERY true in Jen’s case!)
~~~snip~~~
  •  Former Attorney General John Ashcroft thought they were a sign of the devil. (Ya know, could be but if she’s a devil, gotta say, they totes rock!)
Oni thinks Jen's more like Skitter, (a ‘70s era grey Tux of a sort) gorgeous and adorable. Also too—he noted the long tail’s a dead giveaway. I don't see the tail part but hey, what do I know?

I think we're both right.

The Amazing Bob? Going by Ralf and B.O.P., TAB was DEF from orange tabby stock! Both Ralf and B.O.P. were friendly as all hell, abundantly giving, loved a good game of catch and were fierce as all hell when crossed – they were nobody’s sweet little pom pom. Neither was a pet. Nope, Ralf and B.O.P. were full fledged roommates. Add in this for TAB – brilliant, laid back, emitted calming rays, was sinfully handsome and MINE.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Special Electionville

Today is the day Montanans vote for Ryan Zinke's replacement as At-Large Congressional District rep. It'll likely remain in the Red Court BUT...

I imagine you've read about Republican candidate Greg Gianforte’s insane-in-the-brain assault on a reporter from the Guardian. From what I’ve read so far, Gianforte’s a big Richie Rich and, gee gosh, not used to us rude peasants asking direct and uncomfortable questions. PLUS, that nasty, awful reporter actually expected honest, real answers too! Geez, the nerve!

Boneheaded bullying bullshit and lies courtesy of the GOP
What did the big meanie ask? He wanted to know the candidate's response to the Congressional Budget Office’s report on the latest Republican proposed steaming pile of diseased rat shit masquerading as a health care program – Trump/Ryan Care, the American Health Care Act. Seems like a good thing to ask about, huh? I mean – life and death and shit. Right? Gianforte told the reporter to, basically, get bent and see one of his paid prevaricators for bloviating, gasbaggy quotes re: his position. Still, Ben persisted.

Fox News was there:
Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, "I'm sick and tired of this!” (source)
!!!snip!!!
To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.
(source)
 This is Fox – FOX the right wing's fave shill, fer fuck's sake – and even they’re not in this rabid snowflake’s corner. Maybe the tide really is beginning to turn. On the other hand, the deranged bully shtick impresses the hell outta the John McClane/Rambo fantasist Republican base.

Polls puts Gianforte ahead of Quist by slim single digits. A lot of folks voted early (sadly, no take-backs) though. I don’t think this unhinged tantrum is gonna destroy his win.

By the by, though there were multiple witnesses Gianforte hasn’t been arrested. Warum? Brian Gootkin, the sheriff investigating the assault, is one of this asshole’s donors.

*sigh, groan, grumble, STEAM*

With all the bad press of Gootkin's special treatment of his special friend’s crazy, savage hissy fit, will the sheriff feel enough pressure to do the right bloody thing and arrest the berserking enfant terrible (currently masquerading, badly, as an adult)? I'm not holding my breath.

Meanwhile, in the Georgia special electionOssoff’s got a seven point lead over Republican Karen Handel. Good. I’d prefer a King Kong size lead but seven’s not bad.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Huh?

At the gym I frequent religiously, the local Y, there’s – get this – a Honey Dew Donut franchise just steps inside the front door. Except they don’t sell donuts and it’s called Honey Dew Café. (accent aigu used and not. I guess the sign makers don’t like to be tied down to by those pesky hobgoblins of consistency)

No surprise, they don’t sell donuts here – it’s a gym fer fuck’s sake! Most of us adult-type workout rats are health/weight conscious or attempting to be so. There's a sugary scent in the air though. Maybe the sign itself emits a sweet bouquet – it's a clever, effective, marketing siren song?

I finished up my ellipticalling one day and thought I’d stop by – get a cuppa and a snack, do some people watching in one of the comfy lounge areas before heading home. I went in close to check out the selection, fully, honestly expecting fruit, crudités and yogurt cups, hard boiled eggs, apples, bananas, small packets of pistachios, almonds and shelled edamame.

They’ve got bananas. Ayup. That's it.

From there we head straight into You’ve GOT To Be Kidding Me Land with 725 calorie cinnamon topped Butter Rum Muffins, Lemon Poppy Muffins (670), Apple and Spice Muffins clock in at 620.

They also offer those awesome looking, candied coffee and smoothie drinks.
Frozen Caramel Latte – 562
Oreo Cookie Blast – 560
Cookie Dough Blast – 570
And then there are the big-ass bagels.
Cinnamon Raisin Bagel withOUT cream cheese – 370 calories.
Plain Bagel sans cheese –  360 calories
My favorite, a Jalapeño Cheddar Bagel, is a surprising 330 (I figured it’d be much higher).

Honey Dew's lowest cal offering, coming in at 220, is a plain croissant.

In comparison – those iced fried cakes of the gods which they don’t carry?
Did you know:
A Vanilla Frosted has a surprisingly paltry 270 calories.
A Jelly gives you 340 to burn off.
The Blueberry Cake (fave from my donut days) has 390.
An Apple Cider Donut has 460 calories.
 Obvs I can't go near this Kiosk of Diet Doom. Having such a horrible, good-health-torpedoing food stand in the Y is jarringly counterintuitive. Granted, for fit folks who aren't in Draconian Diet Land, having the occasional Cookie Dough Blast and Butter Rum Muffin binge (1295 cal!) is probably a welcome, relatively harmless treat.

I think I hate those people.

How’m I doing on my hardcore weight loss scheme? Dunno. That is, the scale I have is conveniently busted (no, I didn't kill it. REALLY!). It belonged to The Amazing Bob and I’ve actually never used it. Chicken shit that I am, (getting weighed always fills me with Godzilla sized trepidation), I've only measured my heft while at one of my doc visits. I know, I know…bad Donna. I’ll hit the scale in the Y locker room later this week.

I HAVE been radically consistent in my reduced daily intake though. I just checked the LiveStrong.com site – they’ve a thingy which, after you plug in gender, age, height, weight and loss-per-week goal, spits out your max daily calorie amount. Mine is 1200 and I'm generally well under that magic number. Yea me.

Just to be abundantly astro-brite clear, weight loss is about being healthy. Sure, I also, of course want to fit into my clothes better and look good. This is for me though. I’ve seen too many friends and family units submarine their good health through crap eating habits and nasty-ass weight gain. I’ve enough health challenges, I can’t have self inflicted ones.

To all my friends who say Sure, you’re a little chubby but you look finethank you. In a few months, I’ll feel fine too.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Desultory Tuesday

ultracrepidarian
adjective [uhl-truh-krep-i-dair-ee-uh n]
noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside the area of his or her expertise.
Walk a mile or 12 in my shoes before you go all ultracrepidarian jackass on me.
~~~
Yesterday’s fortune cookie:
You are strong and "brace." Use those qualities to pull through.

Strong – yes. I’ll take it but brace? ‘the Hell?
~~~
From Donna's Little House of Sacrilege:

I was never fond of Mick Jagger. His stage theatrics always took away from the tune’s impact. Similarly, Roger Daltry’s mic swinging shtick. Didn’t add a thing to the music and just looked dopey. Dude, if you’re bored when not singing, walk to the back of the stage or go groove with Pete. Sheesh.

I look at vids now and wonder, about Jagger – not Daltry, what was I thinking?! Sure, Jagger's not a handsome (understatement!) guitar-god like Keith but his performances really aren't all that annoying.

It's clear to me now – I was an oppressively humorless, music purity freak at nine years of age.
~~~
Here’s something that’s puzzling me – Vonnegut – liked his books much more when I was in my teens and twenties. Why is this? He’s amazing so wut up? I’m rereading some of his early ones now and, while I appreciate his style and storytelling it's not mindblowingly revelatory as it was back then. Maybe I’m just too familiar? It’s not brand-y new?
~~~
Melania Trump – attractive sure but what's up with her eyes? They're two tiny, tilted slits. Is the tilt from an overly enthusiastic eye job or was she born with that comic book look? And if she wasn’t wearing six metric tons of eyeliner and shadow, would we even see that she has eyes?
~~~
Upbeat Facebook memes make me want to hurl and I'm more or less an optimist! They all seem written by a team of healthy, blond, rich daddied, twenty somethings who’ve never had more than a pebble in the path to their success.

Ummm. This could possibly be just me and my Live Through This mentality? (I swear, Courtney Love stole that title from me!)
~~~
Helen Mirren, speaking to Tulane University’s graduating class gave "Helen's Top Five Rules for a Happy Life.”  They’re all brill (so go read!)  but Rule No. 2 plus addendums are standing out big and bold this morning.
Rule No. 2: "Treat people just like people. ... Every single person, whether they have dominion over your life or not, deserves equal respect and generosity."

Addendum: "No matter what sex you are, be a feminist."

Addendum to the addendum: "Never again allow a group of old, white men to define the health care of a country that is" -- cheers drowned out the rest.
YES! Tell it!!!
~~~
And lastly, in my bean this AM (always makes me smile):
A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I Was Robert McNamara'd into Submission) – Simon and Garfunkel
I knew a man, his brain was so small
He couldn't think of nothing at all
Not the same as you and me
He doesn't dig poetry
He's so unhip that when you say Dylan
He thinks you're talking about Dylan Thomas
Whoever he was
The man ain't got no culture
But it's alright, ma, everybody must get stoned

Monday, May 22, 2017

Clownstick Drag-time

I have Trump Fatigue. It’s the near daily reminders of his and his spawn’s obscene greedheaded corruption. It’s the ever escalating news of the election’s theft by his BFF Putin and Co. Who will 45 distracto-bomb next? Now that the world is on to his blundering, puffed up bellicosity, will anyone believe him when he swaggers that he's sent an aircraft carrier-led flotilla “streaming” their way? Doubt it.

He's made us, the U.S., a big fat target.

And he’s now on his big tour. While in Saudi Arabia, supporters of the Cheeto hued sociopath expected their big “tough” guy to demand an end to “radical Islamic terrorism.” Going by their hissy fit tweetgasms, he was supposed to use those exact words whilst twistin' arms, doin’ deals and bein' all big swingin' schwanz.

Did Fat Boy use the expected slur? Yes and no.
"There is still much work to be done. That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism, and the Islamists, and Islamic terror of all kinds," he said in his speech. (source)
He used both BUT he did not use his campaign tested, get-the-haterific-goobers-on-board, applause line "radical Islamic terrorism." And those goobers are PISSED!
As he assailed Mr. Obama last year for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” Mr. Trump asserted that “anyone who cannot name our enemy is not fit to lead this country.” He used the phrase again in his inaugural address in January.

Even after Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser, told his staff that the phrase was problematic and should not be used, the president defiantly repeated it days later in an address to a joint session of Congress.
(source)
Just FYI, saying  “Islamic” terrorism makes the assertion that extremism is part and parcel of the Muslim faith.  "Islamist” terrorism, on the other hand, attributes heinousosity to a group who attempts to pull support from the rest of the Muslim world. Subtle word shift but BIG difference.

And then, in his speech to regional Saudi leaders, the Pyrite Plated Con described Islam as “one of the world’s great faiths.” Oooo, his base ain't happy 'bout this!

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog, asks:
What happened to the tough guy all these Trump voters thought they were electing? The two-fisted, doesn't-back-down "blue-collar billionaire"?
Gee, wonder if his nicey-nicey act has something to do with that $110 billion sale of “tanks and helicopters for border security, ships for coastal security, intelligence-gathering aircraft, a missile-defense radar system, and cybersecurity tools”(worth more than $350 billion over the next ten years)

Let’s see now – Twitler’s armed Saudi Arabia, (not a big bud of Israel, by the by) to the teeth and last week, he chummily gave out highly classified intel to Kremlin reps, greatly endangering the Israeli agent(s) (and Israel itself).

Gosh, you’d think he was trying to start, dunno, World War III or something. His meetings with Netanyahu and Abbas should be *cough* interesting.

And here at home Mango Mussolini’s planning to slash Medicaid, SNAP and there'll be cuts to pensions for federal workers (‘cept Republicans in Congress, I’m guessing)

Back at my Jabba the Reality TV Prez Fatigue – I think today’s a good day to visit the local cat shelter, hit the gym and elliptical HARD, begin my bedroom cherry tree painting and then have din-din with Hillel. Oh yeah, I’ll dive farther into my new find Resistance by Samit Basu. It begins with a giant killer lobster rising out of Tokyo Bay. I think I’m gonna love this!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

MFA Life

Joe and I hit the MFA yesterday for the shows, Matisse in the Studio and Botticelli and the Search for the Divine. Now, not too many of Botticelli’s paintings trip my trigger but, hell and damnation, I do enjoy his lyricism.

The show included a death mask of Botticelli’s big sponsor – Lorenzo the Magnificent, AKA Lorenzo de’ Medici. Dude was a handsome cuss, no?

On to the jampacked Matisse exhibit. I really hate viewing art in a crowd – there’s this constant pressure to look quick and move along. I’ve no prob doing that with a lot of work but when I find something that hits me hard, I want to stand close up and swim in the lines, brushstrokes and colors.

My takeaway from this exhibit? Though the vibrant pigments and loose strokes thrill me, I think I like Matisse’s sculpture more. Look at Jeanette V – the strength of the form, the rawness of his “brushstroke,” the humanity revealed – oh yeah, baby!

Also too, I also have MONDO studio envy. Just look at that spectacular window! (below)

From Matisse, Joe and I moved on to visit some of my old faves. On the way, we came upon José Clemente Orozco’s lithograph, Manos. Love this. What are the hands holding? Swirling dust? The cosmos? Life? Simple and riveting.

I said hi to the gorgeous Lachaise who is, tragically, flat assed. Beckmann's Still Life with Three Skulls never fails to make me grin madly. Botero's Venus has a magnificent dignity. Hyman Bloom's Female Corpse, Back View – what can I say? Yes, on one hand it's kind of icky-grisly but the colors, fabola impasto and flow really nail me. Yes, painting of a corpse but such a beautiful representation!

We also breezed rapidamente through the Enchanted Land exhibit. More than the work (love the colors but the lines, forms and general execution leaves me in Cold City), what put me off was the legend on the wall telling of how the work expressed “the great ideals of Indian culture” – manly men (or words to that effect) and beautiful shy women. Oh, fuck you.

Afterwards, we hit Symphony Sushi  (located behind Symphony Hall) for lunch. Holy motherfucking WOW. I have only the faintest idea of what Joe ordered – noodles and two different sushi dishes – they were aSTOUNDING! (more please!)

While swooning and rapturizing over the grub, I noticed something fun – the restaurant’s name is spelled out in the font, Matisse. Awesome!

Upcoming at the MFA? The Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design. PSYCHED! Günther Kieser’s brill posters at Berlin’s Bröhan-Museum really grabbed me by the soul and spoke deep, seductive words of LIFE, EXISTENCE, FREEDOM. Wes Wilson and Victor Moscoso’s stuff is more in a swirly, hippy-happy vein but still, they speak to me. Loudly.

I’m so looking forward to this show.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Lost in the High Crankies AGAIN!

I’m just NOT ready to face the day. Hell, I’m still on my very first cuppa joe. dammit. Actually, even fully caffeinated, I doubt I'd be all up and at 'em. I’ve been thoroughly UNready for a couple weeks now.

Warum?

Every fresh death re-ignites the barely dozing horror and deep blue woe of The Amazing Bob’s death. I’m now officially declaring a moratorium on croak-age.

Nota fucking bene: I WILL NOT accept any more deceasements (‘cept of the Roger Ailes variety)!!!
 
This pronunciamento holds rock solid fast for the foreseeable future. Hell, don’t even think about getting sick! Dammit.

Adding to my not-nearly-coffeed-up-enough state, it’s been fucking blisteringly hot here. Wednesday the temps reached 93 motherfucking degrees and on Thursday they soared to 96!!! This is May not July. This is Boston not Phoenix. Dammit! Yesterday was a SLIGHTLY less brutal 89º – still not in the bearable range. I can’t think or function (least not to my usual mega awesome levels!) in this heat. It’s why, in part, I moved from fucking Houston to Boston all those eons ago.
I was used to heat but this place was so dry the trees were bribing the dogs.
~ Irvine Welsh, If You Liked School, You'll Love Work
Also inflaming my all too quick to ignite ire – It seems that NOT ONE BLASTED DAY goes by without President Asstune slamming his tiny schwanz (and US credibility) in the door.
The President Asterisk won’t be asking for political asylum while he’s in Saudi Arabia, because he’s not competent enough to understand that this whole ‘Russiagate’ thing might be too big for him to skate away from. Wouldn’t come as a real surprise if one or more of Lord Smallgloves’ inner circle dropped out of sight during the traveling circus, though…(source)
While he's too stupid to be a flight risk, what state secrets will he give away, what horrifically crude, offensive and embarrassing things will he say, whose daughter will he grab by the pussy?
The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter. (source)
Could that current White House official be Jared Kushner? I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

With all this – death, heat and the White House insanity, my concentration is like soap bubbles blown in a force ten gale.

Concentration is the secret of strength.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yes Ralph but what is the secret of concentration? Oh wait, I KNOW, I KNOW, I need to buy big, BIG stretcher bars, tack a bunch cotton duck over it, prime the shit outta that sucker and paint BIG. OR I can start the cherry tree painting on my bedroom walls. Hell’s bells, I could do both!

‘scuse me now, I’m off to the gym. Maybe I can elliptical off some of this crankiness?