Monday, April 16, 2018

Live from La La Land

This was my view on Saturday afternoon. My blueberry bush is somewhere under that mound of ugh.

Beginning Friday night and continuing well into Sunday, we had over a foot of snow. Even by Minnesota standards, that was a ridiculous amount, given it's the middle of April and all. 

I've had about all I'm gonna take of this faux April stuff, so I got me on a jet plane and flew over some mountains...

just so I can ride around southern California....

in a 1988 cherry red, classic BMW 325is. That is one sweet little piece of glamour, complete with sheepskin seats. I feel like a movie star.

Here's the straight skinny: I need a break. I sound shrill even to me. I don't want to talk about Michael Cohen, his clients, or his ethics. I don't want to talk about Feckless Leader or the attempt to reverse the 2020 emissions standard. I don't want to waste any more energy giving those boggarts what they want: our anger and our fears on which to feast. Nope.

We may be at the beginning of the end of this presidency for profit. I am guardedly optimistic. That, however, won't solve the problem. Much of what has been undone must be re-done, and hopefully, done better. That process should begin with the 2018 midterms. BEGIN people; this is going to be a long, painful process.

During the 2 hour lay-over in Salt Lake City, I chatted with a young woman, a high school English teacher, on her way back to New Jersey. I asked her, "Does the current government represent you?" She thought about it for a moment, but when she answered, the answer was a soft, but definitive, "No." 

In the end, that's the only question that counts, y'know.

I need to think about that, and a few other things she said, the most painful of which was, "Sometimes I'm embarrassed to tell people I am a teacher." She explained what she meant, and let me reassure you, it was not a flip statement. In a way, that is the crux of the current American Tragedy. 

If we can't respect the people who teach our kids, how can we respect anyone else?

But for this moment, I'm going to focus my attention on visiting one of the original gang-of-six, going to meet more friends for lunch, going to the beach, going to the Getty, and going to hear Gustavo Dudamel conduct Beethoven's Ninth.

Chris Christodoulou, London
Nothin' wrong with that itinerary. How can anyone not want to watch Dudamel conduct?

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Talk amongst yourselves:
Does the current government represent you?
Feel free to share and/or respond in comments.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Losing Bonny

Y' know what a makkes is? My mother and grandmother used that word a lot. I don't know if I'm spelling the transliteration correctly or not, but makkes isn't a good thing. It's an affliction, a plague; something you can bring on by talking about it. Like the malach ha'mavet from last week. 

Aunty Bonny (z"l)
The malach ha'mavet paid us a visit this week, and took away my friend, my extra-mom, the kids' godmother, and all 'round force of nature, Aunty Bonny. She was a constant presence in our lives, even when there were disagreements, we could always find something to agree on. She was my ballast when I was tipping over. I talked to her more than most people realized, and we often commiserated about the harshness of real life and just getting on with it. We told each other things we didn't tell other people. And she knew about grommets. If you've ever had to make 24 little burlap vests for 24 OLIVER! orphans, you night know a little bit about grommets. Aunty Bonny was a major expert in grommets. She was a great cheerleader, truth-teller, and stiff-upper-lip Brit. Yeah, she was a Brit, born in Manchester, England, but you'd never know it unless you really knew her. Truth be told, she'd not been doing well of late, but when I called a couple of weeks ago to tell her all about Young Sir's bris and to assure her pictures were being readied for the mail, she sounded better than I had heard her in a while. Then lots of things happened... and she was gone. And like her family and so many of her friends, I am having a hard time grokking I won't hear her laugh any more. 

I don't want to write about Gaza or Syria. I really don't want to write about American politics or growing antisemitism in the British Labor Party. I don't want to write about what is wrong with the world right now because I'm already sad and I don't have anything add that's gonna make anyone feel any better.

So I am going to stop here. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

[That is so Bonny.]

Monday, April 2, 2018

Anatevka On My Mind

Pesach ain't easy for me. Never mind that I turn my kitchen inside-out and cook into insensibility. Never mind the big Rubbermaid bins and the moving of entire sets of dishes, pots, and pans. None of that comes close to the emotional upheaval that is Passover. 

Over the course of the last nine years, I've lived with the constant companionship of the angel of death. I was the caretaker, the overseer, the one who walked as far as I could before the malach ha'mavet took over. There was a sense of finality during those years, knowing about the inevitable, and being completely powerless to change any of it. Never mind I ran up against cancer in my own body. In so many ways, it was really an out-of-body experience; probably because that was the only way I could deal with it. So I did.

That was then. 

I don't pay much attention to the angel of death these days. We're on reasonably friendly terms. The malach ha'mavet ignores me, I ignore the malach ha'mavet. There's a certain equanimity achieved. And I can live with that. 

This is now. 

The weird part of now? I am less optimistic about the future than I was even 2 years ago when Mom died right before Pesach. I believed I'd survived it all, was still standing, and forward motion was the order of the day.

I'm not so sure We, the People are moving forward.

These days, I watch as much of what We, the People were striving for as a nation being dismembered, disassembled, and discarded. Regulations for clean air and water are being repealed. Schools are being further reduced to educational rubble with funding cuts. Health care availability that had taken such a great step forward is disintegrating. And families are being destroyed by unnecessary, mean, and morally reprehensible deportations. 

The establishment of Sinclair Broadcasting as some sort of standard is terrifying, and the lock step announcement its anchors were compelled to read is Orwellian:

Between the new attempts to parlez with the North Koreans and White House invitation for Putin, I keep thinking I've crossed into some alternative universe. None of this can be real....and you know how I know that? Because lots of people are supporting this lunacy and We, the People in the regular universe are saner than that.

Or are we?

This is no longer the country that inspired Emma Lazarus to write:

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

America was a great idea 242 years. I'm no longer convinced this country has a future I will recognize; if we keep heading in this direction, the road will have detention centers and internment camps on either side. Concentration camps and crematoria cannot be far behind. 

Meanwhile, ANATEVKA is my new ear-worm.

The Wifely Person' Tip o'the Week

Maybe We, the People, should pack up Lady Liberty 
and ship her someplace where 
she would be more welcome than she is here.