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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cake and Hope

Last night Jen, Oni, Hillel and I had a fabola meal of Fratelli’s BRILL ravioli with tomato pesto and Chianti. MMMMMMMMM. Oh yeah and I had a cake pop too. Yes, yez, this was my “free day" – my day off from Diet Hell. One day out of each week, I get to eat fabulously yummy, fattening food and, gustatorily speaking, enjoy the everlovin’ Hell out of myself.

This morning, after totting up last night’s caloric damage, I realized that I need to, mebbe, redefine/scale back my Free Day. Fer instance, it’s OK to have arugula and herbed goat cheese ravs BUT going back for thirds? Not so smart. The cake pop though – YES – it was tremendous and, amazingly, I just had the one.

I think, according to Diet Pros, I’m NOT supposed to feel all crazy bad about the once a week indulgence but…well, last night's bacchanal was big. *sigh* Today I go back to salad and nonfat yogurt. Joy.

We also watched Rogue One again. LOVE this flick!!! Apart from being madly in love with Donnie Yen’s ass-kicking, force believing warrior monk – Chirrut Îmwe and Jiang Wen’s freelance assassin Baze Malbus, Felicity Jones', Jyn Erso helped lift my spirits.

I’m in big fat need of that because, ya see, thanks to John McCain, the Affordable Care Act – the whole reason I’m able to afford the health insurance I absolutely, totes need to stay alive – is now open to being ripped to shreds, as promised, by heartless, greedheaded, corporate prossy Republicans.

McCain, whose health care is top shelf and paid for by us taxpayers, came back from sick leave just so he could vote to strip affordable health care from the rest of us, the taxpayers who pay for HIS  platinum insurance plan.

Jyn Erso’s words are still ringing in my ears, ”We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope.”

Things look painfully bleak. Thanks to Republican gerrymandering, all the hectoring Right Wing shouting heads, a compassionless president whose grasp of reality is completely nonexistent and the plague of greed infecting every last asswipe with an R after his/her name, things ARE painfully, horrifically bleak. I could crawl under the covers, sit and cry – give up and prepare to die. That’s precisely how I felt last night too.

Accepting death. It's easy but it's no fucking fun AT ALL. More bettah – I can stand up, move forward and out like blind Chirrut Îmwe.

I will continue to fight, to hope, to believe that life can be better for all of us – even for those who, like me, aren't bristling with perfect, glowing health or weren't born into gold leafed homes. AND I will continue to encourage everyone else to do so as well. Do you live in a Red State? Call your fucking Senators and Reps, go to town halls, DEMAND those rat bastards have town hall meetings. Make sure these tin-pot hustlers know, beyond doubt, that you vote and so do all your buds. If they sell us out, they will be out of their cushy, taxpayer paid, platinum health care plan gigs.

The Force is with me and I’m one with the Force.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Here Comes the Rain Again

Yesterday I went over to my local neighborhood health center to get an assist in reapplying for health insurance. You see, for some reason, which I totally do NOT understand, I’m gonna be thrown off my current plan come October.

I’m nervous, really excrutiatingly agitata scared in fact.

All this comes as the Senate votes, YET AGAIN, on killing the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). Today’s vote is a procedural step – they’re voting on whether to go ahead, take up the horrific and blindingly cruel House plan and proceed with killing the ACA.

This link, right here, leads to all the contact info, including phone numbers, for every single senator. There are convenient drop down buttons so that you can immediately find the ones for your state.

CALL THIS MORNING! CALL NOW!'s example of Texas being the all-time winner of the Nut Job Elected Official sash:
“Some of the people that are opposed to this [i.e., repealing Obamacare] — there are some female senators from the northeast,” Farenthold said. “If it was a guy from south Texas I might ask them to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.” (source)
Note – apparently it’s not enough of a slur to call out the opposers as female, NOOOOOO, they’re also from the northeast!
I only mention it BUT only one of the repeal opponents is female and from the northeast. Apparently this gun-happy troll flunked geography and has HUGE problems recognizing gender differences. Still, he got elected to the Senate...from Texas.
To be certain we all understand that he’s a “gentleman,” he says he’d only kill 'em if they were men. Yeah, this dimwitted fat fuck’s a real prince, eh? He should hope like hell that he never loses his cushy gig with the wonderful health care bennies – this boy’s half a clogged artery away from a giant heart attack.

Just to be rilly, rilly clear, 32 MILLION people will lose their health insurance if the Republicans succeed. It won’t be just me who dies a horrible, painful death, there’ll be as many as 31,999,999 others.

So then, no surprise that I spent the better part of yesterday in tears, eh? At first I thought it was all due to the love of my life NOT being with me anymore. The waterworks DO owe a whole hell of a lot to The Amazing Bob’s absence but there’s more. If that vituperative fucking ugly turtle McConnell, Granny Starver Ryan and that brainless pile of lard, Farthold, (oh sorry, I meant Farenthold) get their obscene way, my life will be MUCH shorter AND a lot more painful.

Have I said this yet? Save a life (it won’t be just mine) CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY!

Here Comes the Rain Again – Eurythmics

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer of Urns

Yesterday was a Symphony Sushi/MFA Day. Art and veggie tempura – two great ways to get me outta my head. The museum has a show of pics and concert posters from the late '60s right now and I was MEGA psyched to see it.

On the way to the Summer of Love exhibit, Joe and I came upon a BRILL collection of funeral urns. They’re Mayan and date from between the 650th and 850th centuries. The more I read about these wild pieces the more intrigued I am.

There’s about ten of these urns, all of which were donated by one dude – John B. Fulling.
In the 1960’s John developed an interest in Mayan art, so just like Indiana Jones, off he went into the jungles of Guatemala, with guides and guns, to accumulate one of the largest collections of Mayan art in North America. (source)
Supposedly he purchased The Novemeber Collection, as it’s called, through Guatemalan “dealers” and was unaware of its origins – that it was stolen swag. Yeah sure. Winky, winky and all that.

Why did Fulling donate his entire collection all at once? Tax breaks? Felt others should see these amazing pieces too? Just got tired of dusting them? OR did some of the urn's former inahbitants come back from the dead to exact revenge, all Tales From the Crypt-like? Hey, that could SO happen! Right?

                An aside: I want my eventual ashes stored in an awesome sculpture like one of these!

Moving along, we came on the single, ONLY room that housed the crammed together collection of incredible posters and pics from the late ‘60s. Whoever hung the posters had to be either nine feet tall OR completely uninterested in whether the paying public could actually view the damn things. I’d have needed a ladder to get a decent look at the top two rows and, of course, none was supplied.

Still, I got to see Victor Moscoso’s Sopwith Camel, Bonnie MacLean’s Eric Burden and The Animals and Martin Sharp’s Dylan poster. BRILLIANT!

I was really hoping for an exhibit more along the lines of the Günther Kieser show I was lucky enough to catch on my last visit with Della and Martin. Now that was one well laid out exhibit. All posters were hung at human, not giant, eye level and there was more than six inches of space between each one. Gosh, it was almost like the museum folk actually understood that people would want to see the work. Huh.
No, no, that's OK – I don't REALLY need to have a good goggle of those top two rows of posters //SNARK//
Grace Slick photographed by Herb Greene

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I had no idea!

I’m almost finished reading Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927. Thanks to Bill, I now know that, though Henry Ford had moments of brilliance, he was definitely mentally unbalanced in some pretty damned horrible ways.
He did not like bankers, doctors, liquor, tobacco, idleness of any sort, pasteurized milk, Wall Street, overweight people, war, books or reading, J. P. Morgan and Co., capital punishment, tall buildings, college graduates, Roman Catholics, or Jews. Especially he didn’t like Jews. (source)
His newspaper, The Dearborn Independent was a testament to his crazy hate.

Ford was even, actually one of Hitler’s heroes!!!! In fact, he’s mentioned in Mein Kampf. Hitler said this of Ford:
“You can tell Herr Ford that I am a great admirer of his. I shall do my best to put his theories into practice in Germany. ... I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration.” (source)
Ford was perhaps the first public figure to blow this heinous dog whistle: ”the real United States lies outside cities.”

To be clear, Ford had good points (as long as you were a white, Christian male). He was a pacifist, introduced a 40 hour work week (but was dead-set opposed to labor unions), offered profit sharing for employees of six months and, while he didn’t invent the automobile, he helped engineer a car that was affordable for most folks. Mind you, the Model T, amongst other probs, lacked both gas and oil gauges, there was no speedometer and the starter crank could kick back and break your arm. Details, details!

Hitler's hero at 25
While he, theoretically, paid more than other auto producers, there were some steep stipulations.
The $5-a-day rate was about half pay and half bonus. The bonus came with character requirements and was enforced by the Socialization Organization. This was a committee that would visit the employees' homes to ensure that they were doing things the "American way." They were supposed to avoid social ills such as gambling and drinking. They were to learn English, and many (primarily the recent immigrants) had to attend classes to become "Americanized." Women were not eligible for the bonus unless they were single and supporting the family. Also, men were not eligible if their wives worked outside the home. (source)
The Socialization Organization – Ford’s thought and action police. Another catch to Ford employment; as soon as you’d worked there long enough to build up the buckos, you HAD to use that money to buy a car – a Model T, of course.

By the by, while Ford would hire women it was only for office work. In fact women weren’t allowed on the factory floor at all – too much of a distraction for the worker boys, don’cha know. He also wouldn’t hire married ladies because they could get all spermatized and then, the HORROR, want pregnancy leave. The single women that he would hire had to sign a contract saying that they wouldn’t date or marry while they worked for Ford.

Yup, dude was a real fucking evil prince. He'd fit in just dandy with the current Foggy Bottom crop.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

BIG Red Flag

Could the Orange Crime Boss scream I’M GUILTY of SOMETHING!!!! any more clearly?

The Degenerate Mango Blowhard has been asking his advisors and lawyers about his pardoning abilities. He wants to know if he can ixnay proven charges against his aides, family and, yes, even himself. Ya know, just curious and shit.

Now that there’s a solid chance Mueller’s gonna start looking into his pocketbook, fat boy’s PISSED!
He's told aides he was especially disturbed after learning Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns. (source)
He’s worked bloody hard at keeping those returns away from the public eye . WHAT is he hiding? So far his, seemingly endless, excuses have included:
“I’m being audited … so I can’t.”
According to the IRS nothing “prevents individuals from sharing their own tax information.” Hell's bells, EVEN Tricky Dick Nixon released his returns WHILE he was being audited!
“There’s nothing to learn from them.” 
Then why work so damn hard at hiding them?

He says his tax rate is “none of your business.” ??? You’re the fucking president. We pay your salary. Every damn thing you do, including what you had for breakfast and who you're now sexually harassing, is our business.
“I don’t think anybody cares.”
WRONGO you pathetically dimwitted blunderbuss!

Manafort, Cheeto Hitler’s former campaign chairman sez we “wouldn’t understand them.” Huh, I betcha there’re a whole bunch of awesome accountants and other assorted pro money people who will. In fact, I know at least three. BZZZZZT. Miserably feeble plea – try again.

Hi Dad – I'm in jail
Manafort has also claimed that the only people who want them “are the people who want to defeat him.” Interesting. So, if he’s hiding a whole lot of illegal shenanigans in there, they should stay hidden because Hannity and the rest of the Church of Trump dunderheads feel the Grifter in Chief is…what? Trustworthy? A swell fella? Rich so that means he's smart and talented? //snort// Yeah, he should be in charge of the biggest economy in the world because all his fervid fans think he’s AOK.

Back at 45 waving a super sized carrot hued I’M GUILTY OF SOMETHING flag – he’s also got his team of slime coated revenants digging for any sign of dirt (conflict of interest) on Mueller’s investigators.

Steve M. of Crooks and Liars and No More Mister Nice Blog asks WHY HASN'T TRUMP FIRED MUELLER ALREADY?
Maybe advisers he trusts have exaggerated the risk that Republicans in Congress will turn on him, and he believes them. That's the most likely explanation.

And maybe he's enjoying the battle. In his New York Times interview this week, Trump said that if the Mueller probe expanded beyond Russia and the election, that would cross a line for Trump.
Whatever the reason, I do dearly wish the Republican party would, for fucking once, do their taxpayer paid jobs, put country before party, before their corporate master’s wishes and impeach the vile, narcissistic, slavering Putin prossy.
Oh look – a palate cleanser!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sometimes You Just Have To Treat Yourself

It's fruity cocktail season! How can you tell? My bedroom AC unit's working 'round the clock (almost), Coco's spending her days languishing in the front window, waiting for breezes that rarely come and I can be heard shrieking, on the regular, THIS IS BOSTON NOT PHOENIX – WHAT THE EVERLOVIN' FUCK!!! Yeah, I'm a real treat in the heat. Someone mix this babe a Breakfast Cosmo – STAT!

I’m happy as hell that we now live by the water where, as blisteringly boiling as it’s been, it’s always a few degrees cooler than in town. On days like this, The Amazing Bob and I would sit on the seawall steps at high tide, dangling our feet in the cold, cold water. Tide’ll be up at 10 this morning. You know where I’ll be.

I saw this bit online somwhere – The best thing about a heat wave is constantly having the illusion that you’re getting exercise. Yup. While I did put in extra work out time yesterday, before the temp reached HOLY FUCK levels, I felt as though I’d been workin' it like Shirin Gerami getting ready for her next Ironman competition., feeling as though I'd earned it, I had another slice ‘o’ pie last night. Doh! Heat – a deceptive motherfucker!

I believe someone made a grievous mistake when summer was created; no novitiate or god in their right mind would make a season akin to hell on purpose. Someone should be fired.
~ Michelle Franklin 
Louisiana in September (or July in Massachusetts!) was like an obscene phone call from nature. The air - moist, sultry, secretive, and far from fresh - felt as if it were being exhaled into one's face. Sometimes it even sounded like heavy breathing.
~ Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

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

God, it was hot! Forget about frying an egg on the sidewalk; this kind of heat would fry an egg inside the chicken.
~ Rachel Caine

I feel like the queen of the oven! I am the Queen of all oven-dry! Master of heat! You may now address me as "Your Royal Highness"!
~ Elizabeth Duivenvoorde

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jim in France, Donna at Home

A marching band in San Marco Square – this one always made me smile
Portait of me and YES he added weight!
In my dream, Jim Innes, beloved college drawing and painting prof, dear friend and scribbler of yurs truly, had just died. He’d been living and painting in France these last years. A friend from high school, (Tom, who in real life didn’t know or know of Jim) was taking care of/cleaning up the man’s estate – his worldly possessions. Amongst these were a few sculptures I’d done way back in my college days. Jim had brought them along when he moved from the U.S. to Ceret, a small town near the Spanish border. I’d no idea that he'd had gone through all the trouble of moving these big pieces all the way across the ocean and was mondo flattered and touched.

Jarringly, Tom's first words to me were NOT I’m sorry to give you sad news but Jim’s passed – nope. They were, I found these things of yours. Obviously they’ve no value so, if you don’t come pick them up, they’ll be tossed.

Yes, all this was delivered in the most sneering, you’re-less-than-nothing, tone of voice. Ouchie!
my recent bunny headed nude

Where’s this shit come from?

In Wakey-Wakey World, in the lead up to the last disgusting presidential election, Tom had gone all condescending, knee jerk BernieBro on me. I posted some utterly factual (with links to reliable sources!) pro-Clinton pieces (not mentioning Sanders, let alone slamming him, at all). Tom emailed me, accused me of talkin' out my ass and then scolded me for posting rumors and propaganda (Dude, check out my footnotes, my links fer fuck’s sake! These are the actual facts!). The most scornful, god-you’re-an-idiot tone was taken.

I really don’t understand his motivation. Did he honestly think that, if he talked far enough down to me and put just enough derision in his text, I’d feel the Bern? After the election, Tom and his wife moved to France. Lucky him, he held dual citizenship so this was, relatively speaking, an easy-peasy thing to do. Meanwhile, the rest of us, the majority of Americans who voted for the smart broad, stay and we fight.

So yeah, Tom and I aren't in contact anymore. I’m sad that, though we’re both Lefties, we couldn’t have common ground. I’m happy that my other BernieBro chums took a less scorched earth attitude.

Back to Jim Innes – in real life, he died in 2009 down in coastal South Carolina where he’d lived ever since retirement in the early ‘90s. After I graduated and moved to Boston, we kept in touch with regular phone chats. During the wild tides of life, our connection foundered and, of course, that makes/made me sad (Hell’s bells, what doesn’t make me sad lately?!). I miss our talks, his advice and just laughing together.

In my less than humble opinion, I think he’d like what I’m doing now.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

History Class

I just started reading Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927.
It was the summer — if one allows “summer” to occasionally include parts of both spring and fall — that Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs, much of the country was engulfed by a catastrophic flood, Jack Dempsey lost the famous “long count” fight to Gene Tunney, Calvin Coolidge announced he wouldn’t run for another term, the world’s leading bankers made the policy adjustment that would do so much to bring down Wall Street in 1929, “The Jazz Singer” was released, radio and tabloid culture came into their own, an American audience got its first public demonstration of television, work started on Mount Rushmore, Sacco and Vanzetti were executed, and Henry Ford stopped making Model T’s. And oh, yes, most of the world went mad over a 25-year-old prodigy named Charles Lindbergh, who flew a flimsy plane to Paris from New York. (source)
In my pre-college school days, back when the Maderer famiglia was pulling up stakes every year or two, moving further and further away from my beloved East Coast, history seemed the class which, curriculum-wise, suffered most. That is, from third grade in Townsend, Massachusetts through sixth grade in Bloomington, Indiana, the only time frame offered for study was the mid 1700s through pre-Civil War 1800s.

I kept thinking, I betcha my old classmates back in Providence/Townsend/Peapack are getting to learn about the slaves being freed and maybe they’ve even gotten to World War II now! 
Me? Every year I learned all about the Thanksgiving myth (though that's not how the teachers billed it), Washington crossing the Delaware, the Tea Party (before that moniker became synonymous with idiocy), the battles of Lexington and Concord and all that other good stuff. Yup, history class was like Groundhog Day but with mega loads of rote date memorization (versus meaningful understanding of events) and zero talented, funny actors.

There wasn’t one word about slavery, Nada about the subjugation and genocide of the folks who already lived here. And nothing about women's long-ass fight just to get the right to vote! Gosh, you'd kinda get the idea that history's written by the winners of wars, eh?

In ninth grade we did have a brief overview and discussion of Watergate but, fer fuck’s sake, it was happening in real time, EVERY single day.

As a teen I tried to catch up by reading, between sci fi novels, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and every other depressing book I could find (Anne Frank, Primo Levi anyone?) This, THIS is how history should be taught – by reading the experiences of individual people who’ve lived through it (or haven’t). Dammit. Every person's story is part of history.

1927, the year Bryson writes about, was also the year my mother was born. Yesterday would have been her 90th birthday and I find myself wondering how involved she was in the events of her time.

In the year she turned 20 – 1947, amongst oither things, a supposed high-altitude surveillance balloon crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, the Cold War began, Polaroid came out with the Land Camera and Harry Truman was president. What did she think about all this?
I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
~ Harry Truman

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
~ Harry Truman