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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Transwarp Travel – NOW please!

The flight from Boston to Pittsburgh is a slender hour and 45. A piffling trip length, eh? It’s all else that simply fries me solid.

Here at home, I can get to the airport in 30 minutes but there’s the two hours which must be allotted for the doffing of shoes and coat, getting frisked and otherwise demeaned (all because one loon once put a bomb in his Keds). Post-flight and down on terra firma in Pittsburgh there’s the car rental to negotiate and the looooong ass drive from the airport south of the city to my father’s town 70+ miles north. It rarely takes less than two hours.
Total trek time? If the angels are with us, a little over six hours

So then, yesterday we left Daddy at noon – this gave us two hours to motor down to the airport with extra time for hitting la gasolinera and returning the rental leviathan. Plenty of time AND, better still, we didn’t fall into rush hour traffic. Possibly a first. Yea us.

There was time to hit the Hudson Newsstand, with their minuscule yet decent selection of paperbacks and hardcovers. I swear, Pittsburgh Airport used to have a real, fair sized bookstore. Ya know, one with whole sections devoted to straight up fiction and non, sci fi wonders, cooking tomes (!!!), current events and even poetry. Where’d this shop go? Was it replaced by sportsball paraphernalia hawkers? Big ticket men’s shoes merchants? Fancy purse retailers? Jewelry sellers? An authentic (‘cept for it being in Pittsburgh not Paris) French pâtisserie?

All those shops are lovely but, what I want in an airport is a decent book and magazine emporium. Still, I found this interesting little jewel:
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
It’s the last day of 1984, and 85-year-old Lillian Boxfish is about to take a walk.

As she traverses a grittier Manhattan, a city anxious after an attack by a still-at-large subway vigilante, she encounters bartenders, bodega clerks, chauffeurs, security guards, bohemians, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be—in surprising moments of generosity and grace. While she strolls, Lillian recalls a long and eventful life that included a brief reign as the highest-paid advertising woman in America—a career cut short by marriage, motherhood, divorce, and a breakdown
.

This made me think of my beloved Aunt Mary Ann. All her adult life, she lived in New York (in Turtle Bay versus Lillian’s Murray Hill). The narrator even sounds like Mary Ann. I want to time travel back to 1953, meet and get to know Mary Ann at 22. A recent college grad, she was strong, independent and just starting out in the big world of NYC book publishing. This book will give me a window into her world.

Back in flightless bird land…

The journey home was delayed. Now, I expected this given that, as much as I love jetBlue, their afternoon and evening flights routinely run VERY late. That and I saw a tweet from John Scalzi early in the AM – he woke just in time for a storm driven power outage. He lives in Ohio, four hours  west of Pittsburgh – the big bad weather was headed our way.

Joy.

Eventually, just as I was thinking the airline peeps were gonna tell us our flight was doomed and cancelled, the sky boat began taxiing down the runway.

This expedition clocked in at close to ten hours rather than the already too long six. We could've driven from Valhalla to Daddy in less time. Hmmph. What I so definitely NEED is a transwarp beaming device. C'mon science folk – get ON IT!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

ESCAPE!

I want a goddamn, motherfucking, valium laced, make-me-smile-like-it’s-my bleedin’-wedding-day, happy, fucking, ending! And I’m NOT talkin’ masseuse lingo here either.

And they lived happily ever after – is that really too much to ask from my movies and fiction? Honest to Bast here mon ami, I KNOW life’s no bowl of Bings topped with hand beaten whip cream. Got that. Seen the tape. It’s understood.

BUT….

How much more women, poors, brown and black-hating Republican subversions of justice am I supposed to take? How much more of these blatantly rapacious, scum-sucking, felonious shit bags and their extraneous crimes will we have to put up with?

Blue yes but not quite the tsunami
Yes, it’s damn likely there’ll be a blue tsunami come November but will this country still exist then? Will Republicans and that toxic neon apricot twat of a prez outlaw the elections? Will they, after losing BIGLY, invalidate the results – call it FAKE NEWS and claim the real and true winners are their child molesting, murderous, anger-management needing cons, I mean candidates. Honest folks!

Maybe Assface von Golfstick won’t be able paper over reality with lies, tweets, lackeys and more of them AND cheap-ass gold paint?

In the meantime, I SO need escape. I need books and movies where, fer fuck’s sake, the side of good actually triumphs.

Jen, Oni and I had been watching the TV show Grimm. In the beginning, like a German fairy tale/Disney hybrid, all the eps had happy endings. Yeah sure, they’d take me down through the Valley of Doom and shit but everything  would work out all nicey nice in la end. I liked this…a LOT.

I KNOW life’s not so pat – HONEST and TRUE. I’m hip that precious few of us see those and-they-lived-happily-ever-after and carrot-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting-has-no-calories endings. WHATEVAH! I’ve even figured out that, in real life, Prince Charming doesn’t live forever. I knew mine wouldn’t but, just like the fantasy of simultaneous orgasms, I entertained a flimsy, fairy tale notion that The Amazing Bob and I would expire at PRECISELY the same moment.

Yes, I knew I was being silly as fuck but,...fuck...we all need fluffy kitten dreams from time to time. Amirite or what? You know I am!

Which brings me back to fiction, TV, big Hollywood movies – that’s what they’re for! ESCAPE!

I need some new humor laced, tart-tongued fantastic-world yarns to buoy me until November.

Jen and Oni just found the show Eureka.
When a small Pacific Northwest town boasts more eccentric geniuses per capita than anywhere else in the world, and when they are each working on their own secret projects, a lot of strange things tend to happen. (source)
We’ve watched a couple eps and, so far, I likey this. I’m afraid we’re gonna burn through this fast so…emmm…more please. Got any suggestions? Books? TV? Movies?

Monday, May 21, 2018

WHOOSH!

Jen and I are at Logan once again. We're headed to Pittsburgh and beyond to visit Daddy in his small-ish college town.

In lieu of a story, rants or random musings, here, have some music!

Leaving on a Jet Plane – Peter, Paul and Mary
All my bags are packed,
I'm ready to go
I'm standing here outside your door
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye


But the dawn is breakin'
It's early morn
The taxi's waitin'
He's blowin' his horn
Already I'm so lonesome
I could cry

 
Jet Airliner – Steve Miller Band
Oh, oh big ol' jet airliner
Carry me to my home
Oh, oh big ol' jet airliner
'Cause it's there that I belong


Not about flight but, what the hell, a favorite song and there IS travel involved!

American Pie
Don McLean
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
And singin' this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die
Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again


Mr. Airplane Man
Howlin Wolf
Mr. Airplane man, will you fly down to Jackson for me
Mr. Airplane man, will you fly to Jackson for me
I want you fly to my baby, and give her this here message for me
Ahhoooo, ahhoooo, ahhhoooo, ahhhoooo


DanielElton John
Daniel is travelling tonight on a plane
I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain
Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye
God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Flowers and why I'll never be a royal

Queen Elizabeth’s favorite flower is the primrose.
Princess Margaret was fond of orchids (and vodka and cigarettes).
Princess Diana’s favorites? Forget-Me-Nots.
Princess Catherine, Will’s wife, favors lily of the valley.
Meghan’s fave – peonies.

All of these are lovely. Really.
Me? I’m partial to dandelions, Queen Anne’s Lace, lilacs, purple pom poms, pussywillows, sunflowers, goldenrod, free-range daisies, black eyed Susans and wildflowers whose names I’ll never remember.

Yup, my floral tastes are firmly in the peasant class.

The earth laughs in flowers.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A weed is but an unloved flower.
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

It's so curious: one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses.
~ Colette

I must have flowers, always, and always.
~ Claude Monet

One by one she slew her fears, and then planted a flower garden over their graves.
~ John Mark Green

Leon reads aloud from an article in the Reader's Digest about voting to select a national flower. Leon votes for dandelions. Joseph and Clyde vote for grass.
~ Milton Rokeach, The Three Christs of Ypsilanti: A Psychological Study 

Researches of behavioural science have shown that the presentation of flowers to someone almost always guarantees a Duchenne smile - a facial expression of genuine pleasure.
~ Constance Kirker, Edible Flowers: A Global History 
 
What a lonely place it would be to have a world without a wildflower!
~ Roland R Kemler

Water Lilies' is an extension of my life. Without the water, the lilies cannot live, as I am without art.
~ Claude Monet
I have lost my smile,
but don't worry.
The dandelion has it.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Again

With yesterday’s school massacre, the 22nd of 2018, kids are now, statistically, at far greater risk in home room than they would be in a war zone. Twice as many children have died this year, murdered by our fellow U.S. citizens wielding weapons of war, AR-15s, than have perished during military service.

Your sweet tweens and teens are in more danger at Humboldt (or where ever) High than they are in Kabul.

Chart from the Washington Post
Those active shooter drills that our children now endure, the mantras they’re expected to recite, do these do any fucking good AT ALL? Does having them chant – Run, hide, fight. Shelter in place. If you see something, say something – stop their blood from flowing, does it keep their hearts beating?

Seems about as useful as 1950s Duck and Cover drills.Ya know, either the bomb hits and you’re vaporized or  it doesn’t and you aren’t. Either a violently unhappy, gun-humping bastard with an AR-15 blows you away or he doesn’t.

What do these useless drills accomplish?
Ryan Marino, an emergency-medicine physician at the University of Pittsburgh, recalled that his school had adopted the drills during that period, after a student was found to have a “death list” and access to guns. He told me the drills didn’t seem real until he was 12, and a fellow student coughed during one of the drills. “The teacher told us that if this had been real, we would all be dead.”
~~~snip~~~
Despite some similarities to natural-disaster and Cold War drills, active-shooter drills also mean exposing kids to the idea that at any point, someone they know may try to kill them.
~~~snip~~~
“I will never be able to explain it well, but losing a feeling of safety as a child, especially at school, is a major thing,” said Marino, the emergency physician who was terrified to cough. “Anyone who has not gone through school with active-shooter drills can never understand what it feels like.” (source)
The child COUGHED and was excoriated, blamed and shamed by his teacher in front of the whole class. School is becoming/has become Ender's Game.

Is this a real smart way to raise secure, confident, compassionate, humane, intelligent and happy adults or is this a recipe for cold, cynical, sad and anxiety riddled future assassins of America? Wouldn't it be a WHOLE lot simpler to take weapons of war OUT of the civilian realm? Wouldn't that make all of us a fuck-ton more safe?
Isabelle Laymance, a 15-year-old who said she was inside one of the classes where the shooting took place, said the attacker shot an officer when police began to speak to him. The attacker repeatedly told police he would surrender if they talked to him, Laymance said.
“He kept saying if I come out, don’t shoot me,” she said. “They didn’t shoot him, they just put him in handcuffs.”
(source)
And this, of course, tells me the killer was a white boy. A black male doesn’t need to have committed multiple murders or even be armed to be shot down – holding a cell phone or a shower head’s enough to warrant death.

There are 171 days until November 6th and the midterm elections. If you aren't already, get registered! Let's vote all these on-the-take, fraudulent thoughts-and-prayers charlatans OUT.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Death and the Maiden

I dreamed that I killed someone. The vic was someone I knew well but, in the dream, his ID was never revealed. I had no choice re: offing this person. It was, basically, self defense. I poisoned him before he had a chance to end me.

And then I had to beat feet FAST – make good my escape.

It was gonna be tight. I drove off (in an ancient station wagon, hauling a wee trailer)…where?! I woke, still in the throes of this crazyosity, wondering where I could go and be safe. I was panicked that I didn’t have fake ID and utterly freaked about getting caught and going to jail.

Which, naturally, leads to a song. Doesn’t everything in life?

Wednesday I saw the mouth physical therapist. I’ve a few exercises that I need to do twice daily. Consistently! This includes deep breathing drills because, apparently, I’m viciously tense. Gee…RILLY!? Relaxing, it would seem, will help me regain my embouchure. Huh. K. This won’t happen instantly. This is a journey. There are no magic pills *sigh* I’ll see Mara again in a month.

And yesterday was my annual with the neuro-op. RIGHT before I was called in, I had the beginning of a text exchange with a man I’d once and for a long time, considered a brother-in-arms. For years and years, we hung out together on the mega regular. That ended, abruptly-ish, after he began dating the woman who became his wife. I always knew he’d, likely, vanish after he met THE ONE. It’s just how he was – he became a part of the woman he was involved with – her life became his. His was only hers.

Though this was expected, I was very sad to be DQed, to lose his friendship, the camaraderie.

We eventually became tangentially connected on ShoutyFace. This is where I saw, just yesterday, a cryptic post of his along with a bunch of ominous comments from his chums. There were posts proclaiming love, prayers and support. Looked like, mebbe, Geo had more going on than just a bad summer cold.

I texted him, totally not expecting an answer. He replied. I was stunned. Even more so when he said that he has stage four bladder cancer. He was diagnosed the month after my totally Amazing Bob shuffled off this mortal coil. Geo's been fighting ever since. Things don’t look good – shit's spreading. He begins yet another round of chemo on Monday.

What do you say to an old friend, someone you haven’t been close with in 15 years, someone who pushed you away? What to say when the bomb drops?

I said that I was happy he has Chrissy and her family. Happy that they have that glorious weekend house, high on a mountain in New Hampshire. Beauty helps ease pain, I said. He allowed that they’re unable to get up there much now. I invited him and Chrissy to come spend a day or more down here, sitting on the seawall – wave gazing. The ocean is calming – a powerful, gorgeous balm.

He didn't say no but, in so many words, he said no.

I doubt I'll see him again.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hard Rain

Blake Farenthold (or Blorg Fartface as I generally think of him) is starting a new, high paying gig as a lobbyist. This despite the fact that ex-House members are not legal to lobby for at least one year after leaving office. Ah but the fat, feral mound of grift found a loophole! He’ll be working for theft monkeys and crazified white supremacists down in Port Lavaca. He'll be in a distilled swamp of his own malevolent kind.

Why’d this stunning example of Republican family values, respect for law and humankind in general, resign?
His former spokeswoman Lauren Greene said in legal documents that Farenthold told another aide that Greene could “show her nipples whenever she wanted to” and that he had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about her. She describes the congressman as often being drunk and flirtatious at work, complaining of a sexless marriage and telling her a story about a female lobbyist propositioning him for “a threesome.” (source)
Sounds like just the sort of boss and working environment that ALL us Vagina Americans hope for, eh? URGH!
An aside, this blotated, scruple-free, rapacious and decidedly not-ready-for-prime-time, social skill devoid griftasaurus whined about his sexless marriage. Ya know, if my old man had the sterling ethics of a Greed Demon combined with the fitness and good looks of Jabba’s homelier, dimwitted brother, I wouldn’t do him either.
Lord of Avarice – Demon God of Wealth, DC Comics
Not enough money in the world
Unsurprisingly, the man with the duckie PJ fetish was sued for harassment and lost to the tune of 84Gs. He had the taxpaying citizens of Texas pay that bill for him (they were not consulted). The folks he was elected to represent, who are NOT guilty of being drunk on the job (on Texas taxpayer's dime) or disgustingly harassing employees (and over sharing), unwittingly paid the bill for his crimes.

As a caring former public servant, he’s gonna pay them back STAT, right?

Ah, not so much.  Fartface has...
made clear that he has no intention of repaying an $84,000 taxpayer settlement stemming from a 2014 complaint by a former congressional aide alleging sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation.
(source)
This right here is a fine example of Republican financial smarts, care and probity – it's the complete and total dearth of these necessary qualities, that is. As long as they’re paying their very personal fines and bills with OUR money they’re gonna keep partying (or golfing) like it’s 1379 and we peasants, too busy with that pesky Black Death business, aren’t even thinking about revolt.

Yet. We are all Wat Tyler and change is coming.

A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall – Dylan

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Buckets of Rain

Coco, in her basement safe-from-the-storm space
I dreamed Coco was sitting on the bed, ready to wake my lazy ass up. Right by her side was another tux – a kitten. Our princess, who’s always made it clear that she prefers to be singular, was fine and ducky with this new resident feline. In fact, they were clearly a team.

I was thrilled…and doomed. With two adorable cats in da houz I would never get out ‘cept to buy food, treats and litter. Of course.
By the by, apparently there was a BIG thunderstorm last night. Coco was not happy and, this morning, seems to have a stress hangover – doesn’t want to be held (TRÈS unusual), needs to sniff around all the corners (while I watch – she wants to show me something but WHAT?) and now she’s down in the basement (possibly mixing up the medicine).
And Umlaut, who’s, generally, dependably punctual, hasn’t shown up for brekkie. I’m guessing he’s still in his own storm hideout.
I dreamed I was a game tester and LOVED my job. It was the bestest gig in the universe! But I’d forgotten my password and the company’s IT wizard was being unhelpful to say the least and THEN he left for a long lunch!

Dandelions – such happy flowers. My favorites!
Wut up and shit?

AND how can you mend a broken heart?

I don’t know, of course, if this link features the Gibb with the particularly wet warbly voice. I hated that tune when it came out but….but…I understood it. And now it’s on perma play in my bean. Yes, you should now feel SO sorry for me!
And how can you mend a broken heart?

How can you stop the rain from falling down?

How can you stop the sun from shining?

What makes the world go round?
When does the pain of losing The Amazing Bob end. I know. I know…never. I'll just learn to live with this weight. There is no miracle pill, no quick fix. I have this pain because I had SO MUCH joy for so many years.

The bill came due. Gosh, anyone care for a fresh cuppa pathos? I seem to have buckets to share.

I need to apply some serious balm but what would that be? What would it look like? According to my sleepy-time peregrinations, it’s a kitten but, despite my dream, I honestly don’t think Coco would be happy about a new roommate.

My first appointment with the mouth physical therapist is this morning – 9AM. MAYbe, I’ll have my embouchure back in short-ish order and I’ll be able to play the flute again.

I’ve pretty much given up on cello since no one’s responded to my queries and requests. Ya know, help a late deafened broad in her efforts to possibly regain music. But NOOOOO. STRONZI – the lot of them!

Just a small point but, if I gotta have a tune about endless metaphoric, haunting rain, why can't it be this one, hmmmmmm?!

Buckets of Rain – Bob Dylan