Too Many Turkeys

 

Turkey Day Table

 

Last year at about this time, I was at the grocery store, near the dairy case, when I overheard a grown woman yelling at the grown man by her side: ”Because Bob! You don’t get to tell people where to buy their food!” Bob looked fairly unfazed. He also looked unconvinced. I’m not sure what had preceded the bit of conversation I heard, but it didn’t look like their Thanksgiving week was off to a good start. And it sure didn’t look like Bob was gonna be happy with whatever it was someone would be bringing to his table.

 

That little run-in said it all really. The holidays are here. Some folks are overjoyed. Some folks are overwhelmed. This time of year can be tough. Maybe there’s no getting around that, but I like to think Bob’s route isn’t the only way to get over the river and through the woods. I mean – wouldn’t it be nice if we could just set aside the drama? Wouldn’t it be lovely if we just broke bread together instead of breaking spirits? And if we really just don’t like someone (whether they’re family or not), do we honestly have to spend time with them?

 

As Turkey Day approaches, I wish you peace. I wish the same for Bob. And I wish the same for myself, too. Trust me – we deserve it. Gobble, gobble.

Cool Like That

 

I’ve been a fan of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” for ages. For the life of me, I don’t know why. Rape, murder, assault – that’s not my bag, y’all. And yet I’ve watched the show, year after year, cast change after cast change. I even got to meet a writer from the show and I completely nerded out. I’m not proud.

 

But when this current season rolled around, I just – couldn’t. The world is so fucked up and the weight of everyday life is almost too much. Adding the ugliness of reel life to the ugliness of Real Life isn’t always the best idea for me. SVU fell by the wayside.

 

Until this past week. Mister decided to catch up on the season and I watched with him. The show is the same, good or bad, and my love/hate relationship with the characters remains.

 

I’m telling you all this because I had a bit of a personal epiphany while watching the show. During an episode, as one character showed disdain for a specific gender, I thought about my own feelings surrounding gender. And I realized I don’t trust a single sex more than another. Then I thought about that, and dug into my childhood and acknowledged how both my parents had screwed me over. And how their poor behavior, while inexcusable, had given me a gift: I see females and males as being equal. Both genders can be complete fuck-ups. Both genders can choose to be less-than-decent. Both genders can suck.

 

And while that point-of-view may seem defeating, bear in mind it also provides a flip-side. Both genders can opt for kindness. Females and males can choose wonderful humanity. Both genders can be amazing, brilliant souls. Neither of my parents showed those traits to me, so they don’t get credit for my positive view. I take full credit for that hopeful stance. Yeah – I’m pretty cool like that. And I’m grateful as fuck for that part of myself, to boot.

 

So I’ll keep watching SVU and will surely catch up soon. The show, for me, reminds me of something I’ve carried with me through all of life. The bastards can’t keep me down. You can’t see me as I type this, but I assure you, I’m smiling so much my cheeks hurt.

 

Sono Grata

My Lower-cased life

 

On Friday morning, I took this photo in Santa Monica, looking north toward Malibu.

 

Fire Up The Coast

 

At that point, the fires had been burning overnight and not dying down. I say fires – plural – because Los Angeles is dealing with multiple burn areas. As of this writing, none of them are slowing and fire fighters are struggling to achieve any containment.

 

After snapping the pic, I went into my friend’s place for a painting session. Turned out my friend was providing shelter for a family who had been forced to evacuate their home due to the fires. I’d met this family before, so they were familiar to me. The kids joined in during the painting session and that bit of time was fun. Ordinary. The kids didn’t seem to have any cares and all was right with the world. Later, when I talked to their mom, it became clear that she didn’t know if their home was intact or not. She couldn’t find out much of anything and just had to wait. And wait.

 

The fires have exploded now and though I live in an area that isn’t in danger, the smell of smoke is everywhere. I’ve heard from other friends who’ve had to evacuate and for so many people – so many friends – waiting is all they can do.

 

I was supposed to go beach-camping this weekend, up the coast. The fires put an end to those plans. I’m okay with that because Life isn’t about my plans. Lower-case l is my world, not upper-case L. That world is bigger than how I roll my eyes when I’m out of half-and-half for my coffee. It’s bigger than how I wonder where I might get take-out when I don’t want to cook dinner. Or how I have to wait to buy shoes, until they’re on sale. Or how I sometimes have to choose one social event over another, because I’m too lazy to attend multiple outings. My lower-cased life is pretty damned good. I have struggles and pains and wants and disappointments and still… My house is standing. My middle-aged health is tenable. My will is strong. Pretty damned good.

 

More and more people are being displaced by the fires. Lives have been lost. Property, too. Folks are doing their best to get through this, to survive. Some are even managing to shield their children from the uncertainty, to help them to see this day as being as ordinary as any other. I’m amazed.

 

Wendy Friend on Painting Day 2

Hold for Annette

 

Yesterday I was in a bookstore – an honest to goodness bookstore – and I looked over at a display and saw a book with a sticky note attached:

 

Hold for Annette

 

I picked up the book, thumbed through it and had myself some legit laughs. Turns out, that Grumpy Cat is a hoot.

 

But I wondered about the attached note. Just who was Annette? And why was that book supposed to be held for her?

 

I wanted to buy the book, if only to fuck with Annette. But the check-out line was ridiculously long, so I put the book back where I’d found it. Good news for Annette, I guess.

 

But I did decide that I kind of like Annette’s idea of putting sticky notes on things, to hold them for her. And I’m thinking I might start carrying a bunch of prepared notes around with me, so that I can place them on various things I might want at some point in time. So if you see an item with a sticky note on it reading “Hold for Annette,” you’ll know your pal Mikki was there. Or maybe Annette. I mean really.

Elevensies

 

4th Day_Highgate Cemetery West_Entrance_Phone Photo

 

New month.

 

It is entirely possible I have loads to say about that. It is likely I won’t share my thoughts – here – on the subject. That I’ll just ride it out like everyone else. Those in my immediate vicinity will surely have to endure my opinions, but I’m not new to them and they knew I was a cross-dressing pirate when they met me. Ahem…

 

I’m finally getting through the photos of Mister’s and my summer trip to the UK. We saw art in public places, which sometimes tickled and sometimes intrigued. Sometimes both…

 

1st Night_Elephant Statue during taxi ride_SB Phone Photo

 

We attended a Gin class. I’m okay with gin, but Mister is keen on it. My notes from the class mean nothing to anyone but me. I’m sure the notes of others were far more informed and detailed. I’m good with that…

 

2nd Night_Gin Master Class_Phone Photo_Notes

 

We saw both of the Harry Potter plays. In one day. I’m still processing. The stage craft was amazing and I can only tell you that magic is real…

 

3rd Day_Harry Potter and the Cursed Child_Outside_After_Phone Photo

 

We went on a cemetery tour. Lord knows I love a good cemetery and Highgate West is a doozy. (Many thanks to Drunken Bunny for hipping me to the place.) I would very much like to live there. Now. While I’m still kicking…

 

4th Day_Highgate Cemetery West_Egyptian Gateway_Phone Photo

 

We saw the Christo installation in Hyde Park. I’ve missed a few other Christo installations in the past, in various places. I was so happy to make this one in person…

 

4th Day_Hyde Park_Christo and a Queens Swan

 

We traipsed about the British Museum. The hours we spent there weren’t nearly enough to see all that’s available. I guess we’ll just have to go back…

 

5th Day_British Museum 2C

 

And then we took our asses to Scotland. Still working on those pics, and I won’t lie – the task is wearing on me. Who knew photographic evidence of travels could be so overwhelming? In case you’re thinking, “But Mikki – you’ve only shown a few photos here. What’s the hubbub, Bub?” Well, I’ll tell ya. You’re seeing only a few of the thousands of photos being processed. So cut me some slack, Jack. Dag.

 

But don’t misconstrue. I’m not feeling pitiful. I have great music in the headphones and cooler weather surrounding me while I work. I’m feeling creatively inspired and downright hopeful. Next week’s elections may put a tremendous damper on that, but not today. Today I welcome Elevensies, a whole new month. Right this way, folks…

 

5th Day_British Museum_Ancient Hand