Thursday, January 31, 2019

All work and no play . . .

How has your winter has thus far? For us in the Midwest it's been a tale of unending snow, ice and a little thingy called a Polar Vortex. As if regular winter wasn't bad enough! But we are resilient, we Midwesterners know how to bear down and dull ourselves into a Netflix stupor then wait it out until those first buds of spring crack through Mother Earth's frozen epidermis. Which . . . you know . . .  let's not kid ourselves, would be nice sooner than later. I mean, we didn't really have a spring last year, we went straight to summer, so . . . yeah, it would be nice to have an actual spring this year. You have to agree this winter stuff is getting a little out of hand. Monotonous. Sometimes . . . sometimes I find myself strolling through the empty halls of this palace, humming songs I've never heard, seeing visions of myself in different timelines, and drinking Scotch with people in Gatsby-ish era clothing. At night I ride across the thin carpet of the corridors on my tricycle hoping to avoid the twins. As for work, well, how boring. I've typed the same thing over and over again: All work and no play makes Amy a dull bitch. . . . That's not weird, right? But, whatever! Tomorrow I'm going to hop on the snowcat and get the blazes out of here. I mean, burn rubber, baby. Don't try to stop me, cause I have an axe and I ain't afraid to use it.

Wait, OMG, did I just say all of that out loud? 

Here are some pictures (and one video) of the storm we had a few weeks ago. Beautiful, just beautiful. Pastoral, inspiring. Might make it difficult to see through the maze though . . .

Friday, December 28, 2018

My shameless 'I Love Kurt Vile' post, and my favorites for 2018

I love, love love Kurt Vile. He's a great songwriter, but perhaps what made me love him first was he looked like the lovechild of Janis Joplin and Neil Young. Not sure the aforementioned ever coupled, but somewhere in the rockstar realm of space and 'farout'-erlimits of reality, maybe. But never mind, that's not important. I like his music and his humble presence. Then I discover he's a poet. Then I discover he used to play in War on Drugs, another favorite. But Vile, he's that guy you hear on the radio that you love but they never say his name, and you keep loving his music more and more and you're singing his songs--even when you're not in the car--until one day you find him on YouTube and it's like, woah. That's the guy. It's him. That guy. Kurt Vile. Damn. Then you're addicted.

I'm going to go ahead and list two KV songs that I loved in 2018 and then all the rest that stood out. Some were released earlier but I loved them THIS year. My favorite song was actually by Neko Case.  She's amazing. The first time I heard Bad Luck I was in my car and I thoguht, WHO IS THIS???? She's goooooooddddddd. Music is magical. It can get you through so much bullsh!t. You can be having the worst day ever, the worst life ever, and a great song will drag you out of that and save your soul.

1. Bassackwards (all backwardsy, loopy, dreamy, poetic stuff, deep)

2. Loading Zones (just a slice of his life song, with a nice groove that could have been a big hit in 1982, but it's a hit now, so it's all good)

3. War on Drugs--Pain (great, great song and amazing video)

4. Alvvays--Plimsoll Punks (this song and her voice makes me go somewhere up high, can't explain)

5. Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile--Over Everything (Courtney is a great songwriter with a unique voice--this is a fun video with a cool play at gender swapping, and the scenery ain't bad either)


6. Dawes--Feed the Fire (another 1982-ish song that makes me smile--Dawes is an excellent yet understated band that should be on everyone's lips)

 7.Ray LaMontagne--Such a Simple Thing

 8. Florence Welch--Hunger (ask my kids, I was dancing around singing this all summer)


 9. Hippo Campus--Bambi (the new Beatles--this song is soulful and wise and says so much . . . great, great song)

10. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats--Honey (sang this all summer too)

11. Brandi Carlisle--The Joke  (with a voice like hers you can't help crying--her LGBT anthem is so beautiful and says so much--love her!)

12. Ziggy Marley--Rebellion Rises

13. Neko Case--Bad Luck (such a well-written song--I love her voice and her writing)

If you've gotten all the way down here you are amazing. I love music,don't you? 2018 was not a great year. It royally sucked. However, the music did not. I wish you a Happy New Year. Love and peace always.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Do you believe?

Fifty-Five years ago on November 22, 1963, president John Fitzgerald Kennedy rode alongside his wife Jackie in a motorcade through the crowded streets of Dallas, Texas. The sun was out, the top was down, and everyone displayed the innocence of jubilant anticipation, but that all changed the minute bullets cut the air—one to his throat, the last to his head. Across America news broke out that beloved Jack Kennedy had been shot, and though some held a hopeful tune, initial reports were grim.

In a short matter of time police apprehended a suspect, twenty-five year old Lee Harvey Oswald, and then later came the worst: our president was dead. One thing I find most interesting about the event is how many unanswered questions there are and will continue to be, I'm sure, until full discloser.

Why were there so many conflicting stories, not only from the doctors in the emergency room, but those in the crowd who had first handedly seen a murder in real time? Why was the body taken away for a private autopsy, and why did the head wound exit/entry point move with various witness accounts? I'm far from being a conspiracy theorist, but I do believe there can be a small grain of truth in some of them. The biggest problem is lack of information, conflicting information, etc. It creates a slew of creative obsession. Why shouldn't we believe Oswald was the lone shooter? He had ties to the far right, he'd bought a gun, hid in a warehouse then later in a theater. All the markings of guilt and motivation were there. And yet he insisted himself to be a patsy--a Manchurian candidate--for higher forces.

When Texas nightclub owner Jack Ruby snuck into a private area a week later amid a congestion of police and newspeople, all hope for uncovering truth were lost. Then came the question of timing, why was LBJ's car paced a good length behind the president's limo? Why did he walk into the hospital following the others with an 'injured' arm, when in fact he hadn't been shot at all? Then the question of the gun, and the direction. Some heard shots from the grassy knoll--a spot located ahead of the motorcade--and saw a man run off. Some heard it from the top floors of the book depository. Why did the president's head pull back when hit, instead of forward, if the bullets had come from behind? Then that wound location . . .

I hate to say it, but count me in as one who doubts the Warren Commission Report. Something doesn't add up. Think about it, and get back to me. I'm open to all your 'theories.' Also, think about the repetition of such murders in the coming years. MLK, RFK, etc. In the meantime, let's remember the legacy JFK left, that of unity, peace and hope for humanity.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

It's the most depressing time of year

photo credit: Howard TJ #InkTober Day 11:  Cruel via photopin (license)

For every positive there's a negative. I'm sure most of us would rather focus on the former, but the reality in life is that there are dark sides to every situation. The holidays are like a time bomb that spurs emotional confrontations into high gear. As a child of emotional abuse, I learned many coping techniques that taught me to put up with a lot I really shouldn't have. My ability to speak, move, even use the bathroom was altered. Basically, I let myself 'play dead' for other people. It's taken years to get over that, and sadly, I'm still in the process. However . . . emotional abuse is universal. At one time or another, we were all made victim by a family member, trusted adult, or loved one. Perpetrators use the holidays to attack, romantic partners use it to keep their partner under lock and key--a veritable prison--all while looking like Ward, or June, Cleaver.

Below is an article offering some coping tips for victims of emotional and or physical abuse. And remember this, all abuse is physical. The stress of abuse takes its toll on a victim over time. Heart issues, liver, PTSD, brain functioning, you-name-it, are unfortunate side effects and cannot be ignored. Stay safe and remember that, no matter what, you are important. You don't have to play dead for other people. You deserve better. Take care and enjoy whatever peaceful moments you can.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Secret Meeting

photo credit: Jeanne Menjoulet Trump visiting French Republic via photopin (license)

This is partly my own thoughts with a spark from another brain. What if, just what if, when Tr*mp was gingerly avoiding the WWI solemnities in France he was actually meeting with P*tin (or a courier of) in secret? If this turns out to be true, how bad would that be? I wonder how many would really care? To me, however, it would be the ultimate in betrayal and treason. Just another day in America.

My friends, your thoughts . . .

Thursday, November 15, 2018

His truth, her truth, and the real truth . . .

Add caphoto credit: Mobilus In Mobili Supreme Court Steps via photopin (license)ption

One of the most frustrating things in our current political forum is the act of deciphering who's right and who's wrong, and sticking with it despite all the oppositional facts that surface on an almost hourly basis. A few months ago we suffered through the Kavanaugh trial against a very meek looking Christine Ford who was accusing the would-be judge of sexual misconduct decades prior. I was willing to give both parties a good, fair chance at telling their truths, but it became obvious there was only one to be had for a particular side, and the others' would be flatly denied. Then came the blame and name calling, then she became a flat-out scapegoat. Public beheading would have been more pleasant than the trial.

Kavanaugh lied on the stand about many things. That is a fact. And, for me, that was the clincher. He lied. He lies. End of story. But does his behavior make her 100% innocent? There's no way to tell. That's why we have a judge and jury. From a character standpoint it was clear which one took the trial with respect: the one who answered in earnest and without disdain against the other who clearly put on a show to manipulate the powers that be. You would think it would have provided a decision point for the jury. But it only seemed a detractor from a decision they had already made.

Here's my problem. A what if . . .

He has a wife and two children. What message was sent out to them by condoning his bad behavior? Rewarding, if you will. What message was sent to his daughters? Despite their age, I would guess at least one of them knows the truth. I think the way he acted on stand is how he acts at home, tirades that make his family walk on eggshells. But now his daughter believes that even if a man yells, grimaces, berates, chides, lies to a person, it's okay. She now has a set idea that the truth isn't important. She now believes a man can be angry with her one minute and accepting the next, and any discomfort is her fault. She now has a screwed viewpoint of humanity for the rest of her life, because we all coddled a lie.

But what if he had told the truth?

Yes, now she has to accept the horrible fact that her father assaulted someone years ago. Her father wasn't a good person. However, by admitting his mistakes and trying to make up for them she now knows that people can evolve, justice wins, victimization is recognized, and above all, truth is all that matters. Honor is all that matters. It would have hurt to hear the truth, most definitely, but it would be far better to hear it, than to live in its decaying shadow. Which is what we've sentenced her to for all of eternity.

A man who lies to the world, lies to his children. A man who lies to himself, lies to the world (and yes, you can switch this to a woman if it serves you). No growth is found, only stagnation.

I wish with everything in my soul that he had gotten on his knees and told the truth--for his wife and children's sake. But he did not. And we rewarded him for this. It served us. Now we have a gaping wound in this country. We keep rewarding liars and silencing the victim. You don't live in someone's lies. You die. It's cancer. It stunts your growth.

I truly hope we change. And I believe America is heading that way. I guess we needed these social/moral inoculations to strengthen us forever, but it hasn't been easy.

What are your thoughts on this issue? How did you feel about the trial and all that is going on?

Thank you for reading.

Image Diary

Life these days.