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Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Winter Storm Warning in Massachusetts
Active for next 2 days ·
National Weather Service

Today is the Vernal Equinox – the first day of spring. It’s, currently 24º out and we’re due for another BIG storm which’ll, likely, islandize the Neck. AGAIN! Christ, the folks on the stretch of Sea Street, whose homes were way under the ocean's tumult, are still doing repairs and digging out. This just ain’t fair.

All I want right now are buds on the trees, croci poking their sweet heads up above the still brown grass and tulips. DAMMIT that’s not so much to ask!

Grumble, grumble. grumble
In other news, I’ve found the, so far anyway, MOST fabulous app! Innocaption looks like it’s gonna solve my phone needs.
InnoCaption is a free mobile caption service for deaf and hard of hearing people or anyone with hearing loss that has trouble understanding speech on the phone.
How’s it work?
In an InnoCaption call, the voice channel is used to carry your voice to the person on the other end; however, when the other person talks to you, their voice goes two places: it goes to your phone (audio), just like any phone call and to our Communication Assistant (CA), who is a live stenographer. The CA captions what is being said.
And those captions appear ON MY TINYPHONE SCREEN! (NO need for a landline!) How astoundingly cool is THAT? (hint: VERY!)

Innocaption’s only available in the U.S. so I won’t be chitchatting with Della (apart from text messaging) but that’s OK. I got this primarily so Daddy and I could schmooze AND so’s I could call 911 when/if needed.

I’ve yet to try this out with Pop. He’s, sadly but thankfully, in hospital. His hurt arm is in fact broken. Today he’ll have a zillion and three tests and questions answered (is there internal bleeding? will surgery be required?).  Depending on how long he’s in, I’ll either fly down to keep him company (and annoy him with my silliness – that’s one of my superpowers, ya know) or keep him up and jawing on the tinyphone into the wee, dark AM hours. I can do that now!

I heard back from one of the other companies who do this sort of thing and, hilariously, a rep. emailed back, enthusiastically instructing me to CALL them.  

Ya know pal, I don’t subscribe to your service yet nor do I know how it even works plus I’M DEAF so, yeah, I won’t be dialing you up.

Sure, I could call them USING InnoCaption but then...redundant much?

It neverendingly astounds me when folks who routinely work with us deafies fail to understand the very simple basics of the sounds of silence.

Monday, March 19, 2018

What hath night to do with sleep?

Doesn’t the serpent seem like an enthusiastic puppy.
Maybe all he wanted was a nice game of fetch.
Hey, throw that round, red thing over this way and
I’ll bring it back to you!
The title's from John-boy's Paradise Lost.

"The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4AM knows all my secrets."
~ Poppy Z. Brite

Me? Midnight-ish.

"I’ve always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept, all the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed."
~ David Benioff, City of Thieves

"I’ve got a bad case of the 3:00 am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing."
~ D.D. Barant, Dying Bites

For me it’s 1AM when the self-recriminations pop in for a spin on the oh-you-shoulda-done-THIS-not-THAT ferris wheel. I was, refreshingly, denunciation-free last night though (and, believe me, I checked for any and all faults. Yesterday was, apparently, a good-doobie day).

But lo,  midnight came and *PING* I was wide fucking day awake with dire, roiling worries about:
  1. Mueller – will Trump shit-can him and, if he does, what will happen next!? Obvs we can't trust the Republicans to keep us safe from Russian interference.
  2. That $30 mil which 45 and his Republican lickspittle toads are gonna spend on a schwanz-swinging bullshit regime military parade? Wouldn’t it be amazingly awesome if the military just said NO, we will not be used to prop up your disease riddled, mega bloated ego! And then didn’t show on Parade Day? How’s ‘bout they pocket the dough and spend it, instead, on helping vets, the folks who actually train and fight the wars the chickenhawks start. Also too, mebbe, fix military housing and hire more VA doctors. Yeah, sadly, that’ll only happen in my wild imagination.
  3. Republicans, apparently feeling they’ve not done enough to line the pockets of their rich donors (and themselves), are looking to steal even more from you and me. One last fat hurrah before the big blue waves hit? Take the money (and everything not bolted down) and run?
The news, current events – not exactly conducive to happy sleepytime.

"But who, in these modern times, slept well?"
~ Dexter Palmer, Version Control

Don’t start me talking
I could talk all night
My mind goes sleepwalking
While I’m putting the world to right.
~ Elvis Costello

O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
~ William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2

There’s a myth – when you can’t sleep at night it’s because you’re awake in someone else’s dream. Whose? I wanna know. Do I like this person? Am I doing something horribly embarrassing in their dream? Something mean?  Did I poot loud, proud and odoriferously in the middle of their good-dream wedding? Are they having a nightmare? I think that'd qualify.

"How do people go to sleep? I’m afraid I’ve lost the knack."
~ Dorothy Parker

I, on the other hand, go off to the Land of Nod very easily – I just can’t seem to stay there.

"It is a special kind of homelessness to be evicted from your dreams."
~ Karen Russell, Sleep Donation

That’s it! I feel as though my somnolent self has rejected me!

"Most people do not consider dawn to be an attractive experience – unless they are still up."
Ellen Goodman

"To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub."
~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Am I ever anything but exhausted lately? I slept, get this, 12 hours last night! I know, I know, that ultra fast trip to see Poppy, with the hour and a half flight time and two+ hour drive from airport to his home is a killah. More so with him not in great shape (WORRY!) and me unable to be there 24/7 to hover (shut up, hovering IS too salubrious!), fuss and cosset.

That's a smile I'm rockin' – REALLY!
Yup, that’s my primo super-villain Guilt Woman talking. I just can’t shake her.

Earlier this AM, I checked in with him via text and he’s doing ‘not so bad.’ GOOD!

Text messaging on the tinyphone isn’t so easy for him (understatement alert) – he has big hands and his digits don’t fly like Baryshnikov anymore. I want and NEED to keep in contact with him though!

Way back when I first lost my hearing, a new thing came out – captioned telephones. Fer example, Daddy could call me and just talk, NOT text, and a screen on my end would automatically show what he’s said. Cool? YES, so very, very way fucking cool. At that time though, 13 years ago, the service wasn’t available in Massachusetts. Also, I’d need a landline and we didn’t have the money for one. Things have changed and, I just checked the Captel website, it IS available here now AND, though I’d still have to pay for landline phone service, I could get the fancy caption screen phone itself at no charge.

On a quick perusal I found TWO MORE companies who offer this service/make captioned phones – ClearCaptions and CaptionCall. Choices I HAVE CHOICES!

This could be earth shatteringly awesome.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

On the Way

There’s something restorative about staying a night in a nice hotel. Jen and I ended up bunking at the Pittsburgh airport hotel as we’d missed our evening flight home (bloody rush hour traffic). We’re catching an early bird out this morning.

When we checked in, I was stressed, exhausted and worried about Poppy. He’d taken a fall and hurt his arm. The wonderful staff at his living group got the hospital x-ray folk to make a house call. How nice!

So, did he break a bone? Does he have a hairline fracture? Unknown at our departure time but I feel a lot better knowing the nurses there are on top of the sitch. I also feel a lot more chilled out after a night in this comfortable, well appointed in-between worlds space. All I could do was read, sip vino and unwind.

Back at our visit – we always have a picnic in Daddy’s room. Jen and I discuss food options with him and then venture out in search of the goods. Since time was tight (shorter than usual) we decided to try to pick up everything in just one area. We’d forgo pastries from our usual joint and get cakes and other dainties from the restaurant which was dishing up the main meal.
Now then, this town has a small-ish downtown area, a big, BIG college neighborhood and beyond that miles and miles of strip malls, big boxitoriums and such. We made the mistake of venturing into Big Box Land and, naturally got lost.

I like getting lost (though prefer doing it when the docket’s a bit more free floating) – wonders and oddities otherwise unseen, are revealed when I’m off course. Like, fer instance, this ‘40 Oldsmobile Hydra-Matic, rolling pastoral hills and this – the Divine Destiny Church.

Rural Western Pennsylvania is riddled with these off-brand, theoretically Christian joints. Often enough they’re in, what appear to be, slapped together concrete block, corrugated sided structures. They're located in far boondockian corners or along the more bleakly run down patches of 22 East. The joints reek of skeevy, low-rent charlatan – the poor, humble version of those diamond studded prosperity grifters (Joel Osteen, Paula White and Joyce Meyer fer instance).

“Lively Worship” – the fuck is that? No, no, don’t tell me – I can imagine. It probably involves speaking in tongues, swooning into the arms of their savior (AKA Jesus orgasms)  and loud, frenetic demands for purity and submission (girl and women-folk only, 'natch).

Our picnic lunch was wonderful as uszh. I am so blindingly grateful to Jen for the ‘terp action. Poppy’s hands just aren’t as loose and smooth with the signing anymore and, now that his teeth seem to be on permanent vaca, I’ve a hell of a time reading his lips. 


Friday, March 16, 2018


In a few mo, Jen and I will motor up to the airport for a muy rapido visit with mein Vater – Daddy, Poppy, Vati. the Old Man. I haven't seen him since last September and that is just too damn long.

Oh and this is Conor Lamb territory I'm headed for too. I feel like I'll be entering a brand new Western Pennsylvania. One where me and my left wing, get-yur-paws-off-my-uterus, health-care-is-a-human-right, live-and-let-live sensibilities will no longer be deemed the enemy of all that's decent and good. Cool!

Also too, what Sam said:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
~ Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

I'm talking to myself here.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Terra Cotta on My Mind

I woke from a dream where I’d just found a close-by group ceramics and glass studio. I was exploring the place, thinking about joining. One of the glass artists was making brilliant, large, abstract sculptural pieces. They blew me clean away and brought back memories of some of the large clay sculptures I’d enjoyed the hell outta making.

As I emerged from Deep Sleepville, images and ideas exploded all over my bean. Yes, I wanna go big and sculptural again (porch dragons, warrior women and gryphons!) but first...

I want to make plates and bowls. Why? These are way relaxing forms to throw – beyond calming. When I’m throwing plates and bowls I’m focused – completely. It’s mesmerizing, hypnotic – meditative! I so need that.

Plate possibility
Swimming, walking and just sitting on the beach, watching the sun rise and play on the water have been my usual ways of going all no-mind. Between the eyeball surgery (can’t get in the pool for another couple weeks) and the blasted stormy, frozen weather, I’ve been missing my Mushin, my mind-like-water time. NEED that.

As long as I'm restarting the terra cotta action, I’d like to glaze and fire the dust collecting bisque-ware that's living in my basement. These are tiles and cups that I’ve been meaning to finish in that ancient kiln which a friend gave me eons back. Why haven’t I? Though I had an electrician come in and wire it up, I’m nervous. I don’t wanna burn the house down…of, bleedin’, course! I bet it's fine BUT I don't want to spark it up without an experienced hand here to help.

Now then, I’ve got a lovely potter’s wheel in my basement. I can set it up – make my plates and bowls here at home. In summer’s past, I've brought the wheel up to the front porch – worked in the open air and sun. I believe I’ll have to make that happen once more. I'll start small – cake plates and soup bowls. Hey, those are two of my fave foods too!

What about firing? There must be joints here on the South Shore where I can glaze and fire. I’m researching. Ya know, now that I think on it, maybe it'd be nice to be in a group, a crowd – a room full of folk all throwing, meditating together. Could be cozy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Trash defines White Trash as:
a member of the class of poor whites, especially in the southern U.S.
poor whites collectively.
The Urban dictionary says it’s:
A derogatory term typically used for southern white people. Traits of white trash include a bent towards chauvinism, racism, bigotry, conservatism, protestant Christianity, country music and beer.
Me? Take out the southern and poor notes and you’ve got how I think of and use the term.

Fer instance, Trump and his crime family – total White Trash. Yeah sure, his NYC penthouse is lined in gold but, ya know, paint’s cheap. His kids may dress in expensive clothes (and look better in them than their corpulent, Cheeto hued pater) but breeding (and genetic endowment) tells.

The only real difference between the Palins and the Trumps is legacy – that is, 45 and his spawn have always soaked in the BIG bucks. Their white trash-dom is coated with a to-the-manor-born veneer of respectability. The Palins don’t have that. Sure, they’re rolling in dough now but they had to work hard to become such infamous trash.

To a degree, I blame John McCain for Trump. He gave a huge platform and megaphone to that ignorant, bomb throwing, racist piece of turbid brain matter – that xenophobe in stilettos. Without that opening, Trump may’ve stayed in his Fox (Faux) “News,” Breitbart and Infowars addicted, insanely bigoted and reality averse fever swamp.

Is McCain responsible for the mainstreaming of bigotry? Nope but he brought it, unfiltered and dripping in appallingly smug venom, onto the national stage. 

Palin’s horrifically ill brought up children have long been overshadowing their mother's histrionic calls for uncivil war. There’s her abstinence-for-thee-but-not-for-me, mother of three daughter and her domestic violence prone son.

Maybe, in addition to the born with bucks thing, what makes the Palin hatchlings such obvs White Trash and the Trump spawn seem all upper crusty are their styles of brutality. Trumplings prefer murdering elephants, kudu, civet cats, crocodiles and waterbucks whereas the Palinettes just like to wildly threaten and beat the crap out of each other and fellow party goers.

Perhaps the refinement-veneer dearth will change now that 45 has made Sarah the Ambassador to Nambia? (Thank you Mister Borowitz!) Seriously though, why hasn't Trump made Palin head of something? Why not the EPA? Surely she could be as recklessly hostile to the environment as Scott Pruitt. Or maybe he could make up something new, just for her – how about Department of English. You know, so she can thoroughly destroy the language – just like Betsy DeVos trying kill public education, Ben Carson, making sure HUD can discrimiate and Wall Street bankster Mnuchin tranforming the Treasury so they can boot 90 year olds out of their homes over 27¢ bills.

Ah well, there's still time and the White House does have a revolving door.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Tuesday: Windy with heavy snow and white-outs. Travel will be difficult/unadvisable from early morning to late afternoon. Gusts up to 60 along the coast. Low 30s.
We’re due for at least a foot of snow – maybe as much as two.

This time around I’m taking the weather sensationalists more seriously. Mind you, last time around, just 11 days ago, I took them for realies enough to make sure all my flashlights had batteries and there was food in the house. I wasn't a total grasshopper, don'cha know.

This time, knowing we Neckas will once again be islandized/unable to leave at high tide, I stocked up on cat food (including tuna OF COURSE – only the best for my kitten!), wine, books and make-me-happy food to buoy my mood. Happy grub includes tofu maklouba, stuffed grape leaves, a big ol’ eggplant and a bag of Brussels sprouts to stir fry. Hey, you get your food jollies your way, I’ll get mine MY way. K?

Reading matter includes Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky. I just read her short story collection, Six Months, Three Days, Five Others and enjoyed the hell out of her surreal, brain-sparking and witty tales.

As Good As New tells the story of the last person left alive after a nuclear apocalypse. She's a theater critic who finds and opens the bottle of a wish fulfilling ex-playwright genie.

Interstate is the chronicle of a broke, dying mad-scientist who’s spent much of his life replacing his body parts with brilliantly functioning, infinitely valuable substitutes. His many children discuss which part(s) they might inherit. There’s more to it but that’s the underlying freaky thread.

The Fermi Paradox is Our Business Model
explores, amongst other things, the dangers of affairs with workmates – particularly when you live for thousands of years and travel the galaxies.

If I get through All the Birds in the Sky, I’ve got the second installment of Gary Gibson’s Shoal Sequence series to dive into. I'm rich with reading matter,

I'm also nervous but, since I can't control the weather (YET!) and am housebound until the worst passes, I may as well enjoy myself. The larder’s full up, I’ve got vino, a fab Coleman lantern, ultra warm clothes have been laid out (including woolen hat and second pair of socks) in case the heat craps out again PLUS there's that warm, affectionate cat 'o' mine. Preparedness leads to zenness, just FYI and shit.

There'll be a lot of the white, wet stuff BUT it won’t last. The ten day forecast only has us dipping below freezing only at night. YEA!