Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

Last year, a few days before Halloween, I picked up a batch of Halloween Krispy Kreme doughnuts for a friend’s party. I live closer to the store, so I was happy to help out and save her the drive. That’s how you do for friends.

 

Anyhoo – while waiting for the order to be ready, the fine folks at Krispy Kreme were handing out hot-off-the-line samples. And I don’t know how, but I managed to get doughnut glaze on my glasses. I swear – I wasn’t tearing into that doughnut like a monkey or anything. I think it just must have been extra glaze-y. That’s the story I’m going with anyway.

 

Here’s to a Halloween of delicious, spooky treats. And to clean glasses.

 

A Good Day

 

 

Sometimes a good day happens. Maybe we know it’s coming. There may be an event on a calendar, some predicted fanfare. Maybe a celebration is due. On those occasions, the foreknowledge does nothing to lessen the day’s being special. Perhaps, instead, it amplifies the joy or appreciation. Those times are lovely. Just grand, really.

 

But we don’t always know a good day is coming. In fact, we may think anything but good is slated. Maybe we’ve got work commitments. Maybe family or friends need our time and attention. We may not look forward to a particular day, as foreknowledge of responsibilities can often be a drag. And if one’s expectations are for a bad time, it is entirely possible for a day to live down to one’s brain-hole’s lowly vision. That’s not just a mouthful of words; it’s a bummer.

 

The other day, I had a meeting to get to and while I had committed myself to the time and energy, when it rolled around on the calendar, I wanted to work on some paintings instead. But given my word, I had, and so I went. The meeting was just fine (which it was always bound to be, given the attendees), and my time there was well-spent. After the meeting, one of my very favorite people asked if I was open to going out for lunch. I was. Then she suggested we invite another fab-o person. We did, and she said yes. So off we went. We talked and laughed and got deep and agreed that, given enough time, the three of us could solve the world’s problems. Not once did we look at our phones. Not once did our attention leave what was going on at that table. It was honest-to-goodness human connection, and it was swell.

 

After leaving my friends, I went to a new seafood shop and got some fish for supper. The place is super-cool and the guy who helped me was not only nice, but also knowledgeable. (I kind of want that from a monger, as I don’t know squat about the world of fish.) When he asked what I was making, I told him: ceviche. He told me a little about his recipe, and as he listed ingredients, I realized I had completely forgotten to add a hint of sugar to my own mental recipe. I thanked him kindly and headed home.

 

Once there, I set about making the ceviche and put it in the fridge to “cook.” Mister had been working from home that day, and when he gave me the signal that he was knocking off for the day, I mixed us a couple of drinks and we toasted. What did we toast? Nothing really. Everything. We were happy we got to spend the evening together and that we had some good food to share. I brought out the ceviche and some tortilla chips and we dug in. Best I’ve ever made.

 

Then we watched a movie, Maudie. I loved it so much and was so glad I saw it. I was so glad Mister had selected it. It reminded me of my great-grandmother and an old “Soap Sally” mask she had sewn – a superb piece of folk art. I told Mister that if I could have anything from Granny Vera, it would be that mask. As I only have memories, I cried a little, then wondered if I was crying for Granny or Maudie. I decided it didn’t really matter. We got ready for bed and turned out the lights.

 

As I was falling asleep, my slightly drunk mind looked back over the day. It had come without fanfare. Without celebration. There had been some work and some fun. Some socializing and some responsibility. I hadn’t foreseen its value, but it was indeed worthy. It had been a good day, and I knew it. I drifted off, thinking of how lovely life can be. Truly.

The Freaking Queen

 

 

I’ve started watching “The Crown” on Netflix and I’m smitten.

 

When I first saw “Brideshead Revisited” in the 1980s, I realized I was an Anglophile. Still am. I’ve tried to escape it, but we are what we are, friends. I fell hard for that series then and I’m now falling for “The Crown.”

 

None of it’s perfect. Flaws abound. There is truth and there is fiction. There is laughter and there are tears. There is hope and there is abandonment. As long as there is entertainment, I will watch.

 

On this date in 1940, the future Queen Elizabeth II gave her very first address to Britain on the BBC’s Children’s Hour radio program. She was 14 years old. As good a reason as any to think of that fabulous gal.

 

And for the interwebz police, I give you this. The painting shown above is indeed based on a photo. It is based on a photo I staged myself, of myself, and not on anything else. Put that in your fucking e-hat and smoke it. Clearly – the interwebz police and I have a history. Word.

Never Gonna Get It

 

 

Most people who didn’t just meet me know I have a big heart. They also know I am sometimes cynical and speak the truth as I see it, more often than not. Many friends know when to ask me a question and when to beg off, as I’m gonna lay it all on the line. I aim for kindness, but sometimes my aged vision doesn’t allow me to hit my mark. I don’t know how all those aspects of myself manage to coexist, but they do. And sometimes one part of me dominates the others. Go figure.

 

Right now, it’s my heart that’s garnering my attention. It’s breaking, and I don’t have a clue how to mend it. Nature has struck in Puerto Rico (as well as all over the globe, really), and our fuck-tard of a president is too stupid to understand that as a U.S. Territory, care for the area falls to us. I guess since they’re the epitome of taxation without representation, and therefore can’t vote for the idiot, he doesn’t see any reason to give a damn.

 

And then there’s the craziness of Las Vegas. Smarter minds have certainly spoken to this (Eugene Robinson’s latest, and Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue), and even if I wanted to contribute a thought, I wouldn’t know where to begin. I’m never gonna get this. Never.

 

On Monday I saw Jackie Goldberg speak and she was amazing. She briefly addressed the Las Vegas tragedy and pointed out a few things. First – she defined a mass shooting as having occurred when 4 or more people are shot during a single incident. Second – she pointed out that we’ve had over 270 mass shootings in the United States this year alone. The day of the Las Vegas carnage was the 274th day of the year. She noted that we’re looking at around one mass shooting per day. Ms. Goldberg then pointed out that if hunters used semi-automatic and automatic weapons in the wild, there would be no meat left on the carcasses. She was right, of course, and we all knew it, regardless of politics.

 

I didn’t lose a loved one in this latest horrific, terror attack. My heart is still broken. And though I’m frightened to say it, at the rate we’re going, it seems like we’ll all know someone who does lose a loved one in a mass shooting, and that’s tragic. Truly. And if you dare to tie the 2nd Amendment or hunting rights to the insanity that is our bullshit, nearly invisible gun regulations, well, this one’s on you. Just like the last one. And the one before that. And the one that’s coming. I would say all those who continue to kiss the ass of the NRA should be ashamed, but that’s not enough. Their shame is killing us. Literally.

Get Down on The Ground

 

 

We’re watching the 3rd season of “Narcos” on Netflix and we’re taking our time with it. The bit of history that’s thrown in with the dramatization is quite interesting. I’m sharing this so that you’ll understand where I’m coming from when I tell you that I’ve got cocaine on the brain.

 

Now – I was never a coke-head. I just wasn’t. Might have been financial limitations. Might have been something I wasn’t into. I did try it – exactly one time – and that isolated incident was enough to convince me I didn’t need to try it again. I’ve talked to people who’ve said they loved cocaine. Some folks have said they’d do it all the time if they could. I try to understand where they’re coming from, but I don’t get it. It’s beyond me.

 

Every now and then I come across someone who asks if I want a bump. I’m not kidding. And it’s just plain weird. I mean – what decade is this? And when I do see someone doing it, it’s ugly. Medicinal marijuana has been around these parts for some time, so I see that quite a bit. It doesn’t move the needle. But cocaine? That one is bizarre. I don’t know how else to describe it.

 

Back in the day (also known as my childhood), my illicit drug of choice was marijuana. I also drank, but that led to black-outs more often than not, so I stopped – for the sake of remembering. I dabbled in a few other things, too, but none of it stuck. I never lost track of what I’d experienced because of pot, and I never got into trouble that I couldn’t handle. I do remember being underage, hanging with folks who were of legal age, and being told that if the fuzz showed up I’d be expected to “carry” the weed as I would “only go to juvie,” whereas my companions would go to jail. It was ridiculous and funny and wrong, all at the same time. Fortunately, I survived. I did not go to jail (or to juvie) and I didn’t die. Those years didn’t lead to anything heavier, either. More than a few people I knew back then didn’t make it, however. And that’s a real shame. These days, I know folks who are hooked on all kinds of things. Some of them are self-aware and know their struggles. Others, well, let’s just say there are a lot of monkeys on a lot of backs. And not everyone knows they’re carrying that extra weight. That’s a shame, too.

 

Now when I watch “Narcos,” I’m fascinated by what I never knew. And by how screwed up America’s actions were. Our country’s behaviors have been less than noble, y’all. Better to acknowledge that than to pretend otherwise. I love learning about it, but it’s also terribly disappointing. A lot of our history is like that. The truth hurts sometimes.

 

No – I was never a coke-head. Never will be. I’m real good with that. If you are someone who’s excited by the mere idea of cocaine, maybe you should watch the first episode of season 1 of “Narcos.” The ugliness that goes into producing cocaine comes out pretty quickly. And if that doesn’t give you the heebie-jeebies, I don’t know what will.