Sunday, August 28, 2016

Wow! It's Nice!

Sam Bass Theatre presented me with this last night.  Very kind of them, I must say!

I guess that hanging around for thirty-odd years will get you noticed.

And my friend Dave Butts took me for a ride in his Tesla

And Laura made me cheesecake!

And they were supposed to roast me, but everything anyone said was nice, so I don't think it qualified!

Thanks to one and all for a memorable evening!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Here We Are Again

Nine years ago yesterday, I went about my business, never knowing that, a couple of hours after midnight, my life would change forever.

When Brendan and I found Jim outside, I couldn't even touch him.  He was breathing, still, but I could see the hole in his head and there was blood everywhere.  I was afraid, I think, of being sucked into the maelstrom with him.  And afraid that he wouldn't feel like my Jim.  There was no comfort I could give him.  Comfort is, after all, for the living.

I've tried to remember him like this wedding picture, rather than that mental image I just described, and I usually succeed.  Like this, or in motion.  Teaching a class.  Directing a show.  Building something.  Painting something.  Writing something, and chuckling at what he had written.
But I am still sometimes overwhelmed with sadness and guilt.  What if there were something I could have done?  Did I not love him enough?  Contribute enough to his life to make it worthwhile?

At such times, I have to get a firm grip and remind myself that his suicide was about him.  How could it be about me?  Still...There are those moments that come unbeknownst and stay forever.  One such is the look in Jim's eyes as I kissed him that last night.  At the time, I couldn't figure out what was going on, and it bothered me while I was trying to go to sleep.  In hindsight, it was anguish.  Would it have helped if I had asked him what was wrong?

He wanted me to get the house back the way his mother had kept it...but I couldn't.  He had hurt his back a few months before, when we moved into the house, and the place was crammed to the max with antiques.  Not to mention that he had given away her contemporary furniture (and mine...and his) to make room for all the things he could not bring himself to sell or donate to a museum.  He felt like a failure for not looking after all the things the way his mother, grandmother, great aunts and every ancestor back to the Civil War had done.  Every single piece held memories for him, and he hoarded the memories the same way he hoarded the furniture.

I have said before that it seemed he cared more for the stuff than he did for me.  His letter instructed me in the disposal of all of it, but the law had other ideas.  I did the best I could.

Yesterday, I was thinking about the way I had gone about on that day, with no inkling it was my last day with him.

I'm glad I told him I loved him before I went to bed.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Danger!

The world is a dangerous place for women.  This has been brought home recently by Donald Trump's incitement of violence against Hillary Clinton.  Overt, mind you, but with enough ambiguity to allow him to say that it "was only a joke."

For me, it started early.  My parents, for a short while, rented out the front bedroom of the house we lived in when I was little, in Coventry, England.  The tenant gave me a toy spider.  I don't remember much about it, except that it was big...probably about 8" in diameter, and it had red boots.  Wound up, it would walk across the floor in a wonderful spidery gait.  Something in my parents' reaction to the gift made me think there was a problem with it, and I was made to return it and the tenant vanished.

In catholic school, there was something in the look on the janitor's face as he looked up at all of us coming down the fire escape that made me wish for an extra hand to hold my tunic tight around my legs...because both hands were clinging in terror to the railings.  Fire drills were scary.  This was the same man who felt me up a year or so later.  I wrote about it here.

In high school, I was the only girl in the physics class.  Well, I was the only one stubborn enough to stay in the physics class when the boys would say horrible things to us before the teacher got there. Tales of sexual exploits straight from the pages of men's magazines, I suppose.  Embarrassing, nonetheless.  I tried very hard not to let them see I cried.  It was also in high school that I spent a summer selling Watkins products door-to-door.  All was well, except for that one old man, whose threshold I learned not to cross.  And there was that one teacher who offered me a ride home after school once when I missed the bus.  In a later consultation with other girls, a consensus was reached that no one wanted to ride with him.  Nothing overt...just a bit of a creepy feeling, but still.

I landed a job as a waitress at a truck stop.  My dad dropped me off and picked me up.  A customer grabbed my ass as I was serving him.  The bowl of hot soup that landed in his lap was not entirely an accident, and I was fired.

In college, there were several pimply-faced boys who took me to see explicit movies, I guess expecting me to leap into their arms, after, screaming, "Let's do it!"  I was just embarrassed.  Then there was that one guy who had a little cardboard shack in the woods on campus and tried to herd me in there.  Not happening...

As a young "hippie chick," I was accosted on a regular basis, because some men had an entirely different concept of "free love" from mine.  The first time I abandoned my 28AA bra and went to the store, a man followed me in and out of three stores before yelling at me, "Do you know what you look like with your boobies bouncing around inside your shirt?"  I yelled back for him to fuck off...not my finest response, but my first one.

I was invited to a party while living in Vancouver, that turned out to be a recruitment for some pimps. I was told all I would have to do was wear pretty pajamas and be nice to men.  I grabbed my friend and got out of there, pronto. We were offered drugs and alcohol at the party.

Well, that's enough for now.  All these things happened before I was 20.  I could write a book about the next 47 years...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Pollyticks

I've been confining my political maunderings to Facebook recently, as I have a couple of pages over there that feed the need to express myself on the current shenanigans in the election cycle.  Today, I read this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-schmeltzer/an-open-letter-to-media-o_b_11138928.html

I'm providing the link, but I am also going to copy and paste most of it, as links have a way of vanishing...

The writer is Eric Schmeltzer.

I hope you will excuse the use of "Drumpf."  That is due to an app I facetiously downloaded and now can't figure out how to lose.  The writer of the HuffPost article did not use the word "Drumpf."  I even tried to change it, but the damn app changed it back.





ASSOCIATED PRESS


Dear Members of the Media,

You keep saying this isn’t a normal political cycle, and you’re right. But, you keep covering it like it is one.

From focusing on process stories, like how the Trump campaign flubs roll-outs, to slicing and dicing the electorate up, to report on the horserace, you deprive the American people of a real examination of what’s happening. So, let’s leave aside the usual politics, and examine what happened in Cleveland, this last week:
  •      Speakers charged Hillary Clinton with murder.
  • A Governor held a kangaroo court, where he delivered a prosecution, and asked the mob to render a verdict.
  • Delegates repeatedly chanted to place Donald Trump’s political opponent in jail.
  • One Trump adviser called for her to be shot.
  • Another Republican official called for her to be hanged.
  • The head of Donald Trump's transition team revealed that Trump would ask for a law to be passed to purge the government of any non-loyalists, similar to one of the first bills passed by Germany, after Hitler was elevated to power.
  • Donald Trump declared that America will not jump to the defense of our NATO allies, if invaded by the authoritarian Russian regime.
  • Trump declared that “he alone” will fix America’s problems. Not with a duly elected legislature — alone.
It is all there for you to see, plain as day, what pattern is emerging. What happened in Cleveland mirrors the rise of a populist authoritarian regime, in every way, shape and form.
And many of you are talking about whether Paul Manafort (who has first-hand experience helping out authoritarian regimes) saw a plagiarized speech, or how maybe in some way Ted Cruz united Republicans.
I don’t know any former journalists who worked in Germany, or Italy, or any of the Central or South American countries where power was usurped by strongmen.
But I don’t think it is a stretch to say that a good deal of them, upon losing the power to write and report, thought, “Why didn’t I raise more alarms when I had the chance?”
[....]
There is a growing cancer in our politics — something we thought could never happen here, in America. It has now congealed into a tumor, by the name of Donald Trump.
It is certainly fed by events of the day around the world which, indeed, are scary. Those events are not in your control.
But it also feeds off being treated like it is normal, by the media. Like it is no big deal, no existential threat to how our nation has operated, as a Constitutional Republic, for over 200 years. Reporting on it like normal allows it to spread, feed, and grow as much as anything.
And so, you have a choice. Will you be that energy for the cancer? Will you cover this like it is just another election, or will you drop pretense, and treat it like the serious fork in the road that it is?
I pray, for us, that you start treating it like the latter.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Clothes for the Old Lady

The list of things I won't wear gets longer and longer as time goes on.

Some years ago, I caught a glimpse of myself in a satin shirt, and said, "Oh, no.  Not even."  That was the last time I wore anything shiny.  I will do sparkly, on occasion, but shiny is out.

My friend Jeannie Loving told me, after getting her Colours done (when that was a thing) (she's an Autumn), that the lady told her, if you wear a 14 or larger, you shouldn't wear small all-over prints. As I wax ever larger, I see the truth of that.  In a small print, I look like ten pounds of flour in a five pound sack.

Horizontal stripes went the way of shiny things, at about the same time.

I particularly dislike the knit tops that are printed after being assembled, leaving white gaps where the fabric was folded.  Why is that even a thing?

I like loose clothes, so I buy a size or two larger than some friends think I should.  I have always run with the idea that just because I can pour myself into it doesn't mean it fits.  If it's uncomfortable anywhere, our relationship is over.

There was a brief, shining summer, back in maybe 1975, when I wore a French bikini.  These days, Victorian "bathing costumes" are starting to look pretty good.

I have found that longer tops make me look less like an egg, so they are in like Flynn.  Belts are out...there's no point in putting one on Humpty Dumpty.

By the time I'm 75, I'll be one of those old ladies walking around in a snap-front house dress and slippers.  A polyester jersey snap-front house dress.  Help me.


The first time I saw this image, it was captioned, "Eventually, there comes a time when you have to hang up the Daisy Dukes."  While, in theory, I subscribe to the idea that anyone should wear what they damn well please, I feel the need to draw the line somewhere.  I always wonder what she has on top, under the acid-washed jean jacket.  The man standing in front of her is seriously perusing whatever it is.  She has courage, I'll give her that!



Sunday, July 03, 2016

The Doors, Toronto, Sept 14, 1967


Untitled by veronica-prior

I was at this concert.  You can see me dancing at about 11:05.

45 years ago today, Jim Morrison died.

I am glad I was there.

Monday, June 27, 2016

SCOTUS Gets It Right!

Many of us remember this:

http://ronnisrants.blogspot.com/2013/07/i-am-too-old-for-this-shit.html

Well, the legislation we were protesting passed, don't ya know...because this is, after all, Texas.

However, three years later, the law has made its ponderous way through the courts, all the way to SCOTUS where it got soundly thumped in a 5-3 decision to strike it down.  I can't begin the express the sense of relief this gives me.


http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/27/483686616/supreme-court-strikes-down-abortion-restrictions-in-texas?

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/06/27/ruth_bader_ginsburg_says_texas_abortion_arguments_are_beyond_rational_belief.html


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg signed onto Breyer’s decision—but in a separate concurrence, she provided a decidedly blunter assessment of Texas’ anti-abortion argument. “The Texas law called H. B. 2 inevitably will reduce the number of clinics and doctors allowed to provide abortion services,” Ginsburg explained. “Texas argues that H. B. 2’s restrictions are constitutional because they protect the health of women who experience complications from abortions. In truth, ‘complications from an abortion are both rare and rarely dangerous’ ”—as demonstrated in an amicus brief by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
In short, we won.  So, many thanks to Wendy Davis for her courage and tenacity, which prevented the Texas Lege from slipping this through under the radar, and also to SCOTUS, for upholding the Constitution and declaring for women's health, rather than the pandering of the Texas Legislature.