Monday, February 25, 2019

Sharing the Laugh

Claes Oldenburg - Typewriter Eraser (1999)
In brief: the weekend in Delray Beach turned out to be incredibly wonderful. I spent time with both sides of my family, squeezed in a visit to the newly expanded Norton Museum in Palm Beach and strolled the gardens at the Morikami Museum

Never mind that my rental car was backed into by an 81-year old lady while parked in front of the house where I was staying, the non-stop eventing was fun. I saw a bunch of my cousins, celebrated one aunt's 90th birthday, attended a gala where she was being honored, and also hung out with my 95 year-old aunt from the other side. There were lots of laughs, a few tears, enough love to keep me warm for the rest of the winter and then some. 

There is something reassuring about hanging with one's cousins....even the kids of one's cousins. We first ring kids are now the survivors' table. We still giggle and crack up at the same stupid stuff. Someone starts a sentence and then we all start to laugh because we have that same shared memory...and the sentence never gets finished because we're laughing too hard. In a way, we are each others' memories. We share fixed moments that one one else will ever understand. On Dad's side, just the word chicken puts us into spasms; we all know the phrase bakery string will follow and we will all laugh 'til the tears run. On Mom's side, the name Samantha, will set us off (she's not a human dog.) These are truly the ties that bind, the moments that remind us we share blood and history; not a bad combination so long as you can laugh about it. 

There was serious stuff, too. I gave my much older cousin (by six months and one week) Ziggy's plot over at the Beth David in Elmont. I mean, it's not like he's gonna use it and it's where she wants to be. It had already been discussed with my bro, and there wasn't much of a decision to be made. The plot is in the family plot; there are limited spaces. I'm not even sure I'm going to end up there, but the last thing I want is some stranger in the middle. Grandpa handed Ziggy the deed the morning after we got he could see that we now had two spaces. Turns out my much older cousin (by six months and one week) has the original deed from the cemetery with the seal intact. Our most elderly of cousins, an attorney, has been retained by me (I gave him a buck to make it official.) He will be in contact with the cemetery to make sure everything is up to date and we are in possession of the documents we need. Unbelievable how hard it is open a grave these days. But here's the thing: it's easy to have this discussion with them. Of course, we laughed a lot, too, but it's also a real estate transaction, if only on paper. And overall, I'm relieved not to worry about this any more.

Of course, if I do decide to get planted there, that means I'm next to my much older cousin (by six months and one week) for all eternity and Grandma Sarah's gonna be real busy telling us to behave like ladies. Fat chance. 

The Morikami Museum from across the lake
On Sunday after the last family activity (brunch, of course) a friend and I went to the Morikami. I've been there several times; each time, I see something new and beautiful. This time was no different. But after a hectic weekend of family, the walk through the garden was refreshingly peaceful. There was a moment to breathe, a chance to reflect, if only for a little while, about the joyousness of the day, the beauty of the sky, and the fact I am still upright and sucking air. And still laughing. And working. And finding out stuff. Things I like. Things I don't like. Things that need fixing, things that need changing. And things that are just fine. Those are always the most surprising things. 

There will be plenty of time to jump up and down about politics later. Tonight, I am just going to let the weekend wash over me. I am so glad I went.

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Love 'em or hate 'em, your family shares your past. 
Hang on to the good stuff and jettison the garbage.
Sharing is not required, but if you can share a laugh, do that much.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Ephemeral Gym Suit

So there was this discussion on FaceBook about gym uniforms. The way I understand it, this is a thing of the past, no one has gym uniforms any more. And then I saw another discussion about gym uniforms. And some very pretty pictures of those horrendously ugly things we had to wear . 

I didn't have to remember. I knew exactly what mine looked like. I don't have to remember every frickin' inch of embroidering my last name on the pocket. I don't have to remember my mother swearing she shoulda married someone name Jones. You see, I still have mine; ironed and ready to go. 

There it is. In all it's faded glory. You try embroidering 12 letters on a pocket with height requirements. 

Three years ago while I was getting ready to sell the house, I went through all those memory shoe boxes I had gathered over the years and ruthlessly got rid of stuff. Not all stuff, just a lot of it. This past week, I returned a high school band letter to the friend that gave it to me as a memento. That letter saw me through a bunch of questionable times. I could not throw it away, and I could not come up with a reason to keep it, so into an envelope it went and off to Brooklyn. There are other things, too, that I've been returning to people. It's a process, but a good one. I highly recommend it. 

I think I was channeling the tidy lady who is sweeping the country right now....pun intended. It was time to downsize literally and figuratively. I needed to let go of some things. Oddly, other things I found I could not just toss.

The gym suit was one of those things. 

I hated gym. I hated the locker room, I hated the teachers, I hated being short, and I hated my knees. But there was something sinister and ephemeral about that gym suit. I think it haunted me more than anything, but at the same time it was a symbol of perseverance. If Miss McCoy didn't kill me, nothing would.

That gym suit is really tiny. Was I ever that tiny? Must've been....but that I don't remember. 

Cleaning out the crap is not a bad idea. All kidding aside, I did that before I moved into this place. I was a little too efficient....I ended up having to replace a lotta pyrex I thought I didn't need. Guess again.

But there is something freeing about getting rid of stuff. I'm still working on this concept. There's still stuff I wanna jettison... 

There's a real good chance I will skip next Monday night, so if I'm MIA, don't worry. I'll be back. 

Monday, February 11, 2019

You're right; I'm sorry.

A couple of weeks ago, I sorta defended Ilhan Omar in hopes that she would grow up, educate herself, and knock off the trash talk about Jews and Israel.  And I heard from a lot of people how unhappy they were with my optimism.

Well, Congressclown Omar lived up to her history this week...and it's only Monday.

Here's the thing. I have no objection to anyone criticizing any PAC, AIPAC or otherwise. I have no problem with people criticizing Bibi or Likud or Israeli politics. I do it all the time. Just like I criticize American politics. Democracy dies in the darkness and criticism is important to illuminate what is wrong, what can improve, what needs to go away. That is not, however, carte blanche to use traditionally racist rhetoric to make your point. Next thing y'know, she'll be handing out copies of The Protocols at fundraising events. That way, she can appeal to both wings at once. 

The seriously scary parts are the comments that follow the twitter thread. 

Meanwhile, on a more terrifying note, St. Amy of Minnesota has tossed her knitted tam into the POTUS ring. Once upon a time, I would've been jumping up and down with a placard, but not lately. I have a significant amount of trouble with her treatment of Al Franken. Seemed like she cozied up to Gillibrand the Destroyer for some cockamamie, unfathomable reason. And I sent her an email warning her that if she harbored any thoughts of entering the race for president, she'd better be well prepared for the frontal attack that would be launched upon her launch. And I am willing to bet if you dig beneath the covers, you will find Gillibrand's muddy fingerprints all over it. Well she did and she did. This garbage about Amy being a tough boss is the most absurd, sexist, misogynistic, bull-loney kinda hogwash one can think of. Really? They couldn't find a male staffer to say she raped him? I'm sure that's next. 

There is no one "pure" enough to survive this campaign. It's already ugly and it's barely started. Everyone who dares to try will be ripped to shreds, and what the GOP doesn't do to the Democrats, they will do to themselves. 

And for the record, I hope the governor of Virginia doesn't resign. Not because of white privilege or believing black face and white hoods are okay costumes (they are not,) but because Dr. Northam has been a pediatric neurologist who has devoted his life to saving other lives while fighting for the good of his state. If he did something heinous while in the military or while practicing medicine, then tell us about it. I really don't care what he did in medical school. Like the old joke says, "Know what they call the guy who graduated last in his class in med school?" 


The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Don't believe anything you read on twitter

Monday, February 4, 2019

Late Term Abortion: The Decision From Hell

I watched Feckless Leader's interview on FACE THE NATION on Sunday. 

I used to think it really didn't matter who was president, that our system of checks and balances would ultimately take care of the bad stuff. 

But this morning, while getting ready for work, I heard another part of that interview  that had not been broadcast on Sunday, where this imbecile was talking about late-term abortion and I had to fight back barfing right in the middle of my closet.  He said,
The only thing I've done is created, maybe, the best economy we've had in the history of our country.  And the only way they can win- I look at these folks with the horrible situation right now on abortion, where they're saying late term- they're not even talking about late term. They're talking about the baby is born and they can kill this child, this innocent child. What they're doing on abortion, what they're doing on high taxes, what they're doing at the border, what they're doing in so many different ways.
This foul, evil, stupid, misogynistic bastard had the gall to say that as if it were true? How stupid is this man? 

A late term abortion is relatively rare. Less than 1.5% of abortions are late term, and those almost always happen when the foetus is INCOMPATIBLE WITH LIFE OUTSIDE THE WOMB. This does not mean this kid isn't perfect. This means the baby cannot survive in the world. Late term abortions happen when there is no hope. 

No woman should be a forced incubator for a dead or dying baby. 

That foetus should not be a pin cushion or revived or otherwise used for experimentation of any kind. The baby's condition must be recognized for what it is and not what the GOP wants it to be. And therein lines the second part of real issue with this. 

A baby who is INCOMPATIBLE WITH LIFE OUTSIDE THE WOMB has the right to die with tender, palliative care.

Someone resuscitated my friend's baby when she was born with severe medical malformations that made it abundantly clear her condition at birth was INCOMPATIBLE WITH LIFE OUTSIDE THE WOMB. A nurse defied the DNR and resuscitated that baby when everyone... doctors, parents, ethicists, rabbis... had all decided the truly kind thing to do was to let her go. In peace. In warmth. With love. Instead a two year nightmare for that child and her family ensued. 

This wasn't a stranger; this was my friend and I saw up close and personal how it played out.

Ultimately, this is what a late term abortion is about. Not about not wanting a baby, but about not wanting a baby who cannot survive in the world to suffer needlessly. No one takes this lightly or without deep, serious thought. When faced with a late term abortion, hearts are broken all around. For the sake of the baby. For the sake of the parents. For the sake of the siblings and grand parents. No one tangentially tied to that situation goes unscathed. 

And that imbecile says it's about doctors' ability to kill the baby. Is he out of his fucking mind?

One can only wonder if knowing what little brain function her son would have that made him INCOMPATIBLE WITH LIFE OUTSIDE THE WOMB, would Mrs. Trump have aborted him? Too bad she didn't have the choice. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Wait for the Mueller Report.
That's gonna be good.