Monday, September 28, 2020

Chill and not chill.

Raise your hand if you've paid more in taxes than the D-rate, TV celeb currently occupying the White House! Seriously, fuck that guy. I know that this goes without saying, but he must be voted out of office come November. 

In addition to numerous beach visits, I've taken to watching orphan elephant videos on Youtube to help calm me down as we move ever closer to voting day. How are you keeping well during this run up to the election? (Side note: Elephants are capable of showing greater empathy than D. Trump and family.)

Baby Endoto keeping cozy under a blanket.


I had a wee car accident the other day. I don't know how, but I drove over a median. I wasn't traveling very fast, but I did do damage to the underside of the car. Oil leaked out fairly quickly; I needed a tow to the repair shop. To be honest, I have never really liked our car as it had a really big blind spot. It seemed to have something to do with the fact the car is a coupe. Instead of having a clear view out the backseat window, I had a view of more of the body of the car instead, if that makes sense. The having to double and triple-check with looks over the shoulder and still not always feeling confident that I'd had a clear view of the road before lane-changing was super stressful.  After repairs, we took the car in to the dealership and traded it in for the four-door version of our make and model, but with virtually no blind spot. What a difference two more doors make! Now, when I turn my head all I see is a clear, glass window. :) I opted for another manual transmission as well. Even though traffic congestion sometimes me makes it seem as if I'm doing the cha-cha with the 1-2-3 gears, I feel that I have greater control while driving than I would have were I in an automatic. 

We're in another heatwave here. I awoke early around 7.30a and it was already around 23C/74F. It is now 31C/88F. Another wildfire broke out in Napa County over the weekend. Last time I checked, it was %0 contained. :( My cousin's in-laws may have to evacuate. -don't know yet. The air quality is poor again & we've been cautioned to stay indoors. Homes in SF traditionally do not have air-con. We do, however, have a few stand-alone fans. The fans are going and the window blinds are all closed. -throw in a couple of elephants-taking-mud-bath-videos and we should get through the hottest part of the day OK! 





Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A day at the races--

Mini-regatta

My husband and I spent Sunday afternoon solving the New York Times crossword in the park at Spreckels Lake. We perched where there happened to be a remote-control sailboat racing event going on. A handful of older men in sun hats stood around the edge of the lake while model yachts zigzagged across the water. I don't know the ins and outs of mini-yacht racing, but I could suss out that the races are timed. It helped that it was a quiet affair; one could hear a timer ticking down to the finish. As we were mostly engaged with solving the puzzle, I could never figure out who the race winners were. Congratulatory remarks among the participants seemed fairly subdued. Regardless, it was great to see such lovely model boats--that are functional!-- on display.

 


 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Permanent dawn

Yesterday, I awoke to a dark, orange-hued sky. The sun, however, never seemed to 'wake up'. I couldn't gauge what time is was. Early morning looked like late afternoon looked like midday. Although it seemed Armageddon was upon us, much of the smokey air was trapped above a marine layer of fog, so it was easy under mask to breathe. I went to the beach for a short walk & met with a friend for a socially-distant coffee.

Below is a shot of my hometown's massive Taco Bell structure on the beach. This snap was taken just after noon.


Taco Bell in sepia.
Me, contemplating an empty cup.

I've not yet been outside today. Looking through the front window, I see that the sky seems to have returned to normal. -don't know the level of smoke in the air yet, but I suspect that it's worse than yesterday. I've been using an app. called PurpleAir in order to determine whether or not it's safe enough to venture forth. It's a colored-coded affair. Green is good; yellow is no longer so good; orange is suspect; red is no-go; purple is GO INSIDE. 

I'll wager we're in 'no-go' territory about now. Not like Covid is a good thing, but it's good in so far as I've masks at the ready. Although I would imagine that a cloth mask isn't really going to do much to combat particulate matter like a proper PPE-type mask would do. 

Anywho, that's all the news that's fit to blog!

Be safe and well. x





Thursday, September 3, 2020

'Ach so'


Trump cares little about how well a person performs his or her job; he only favors loyalty. As a result of this sad fact, Trump appointed one of his sycophants, Richard Grenell, to the role of Ambassador to Germany (2018-2020). Is Grenell a scholar of European history? No. Does Grenell have any knowledge of German language and culture? No. What Grenell does do well is sing the praises of his boss even when there is no call to do so. 

I think many of us might remember when Chancellor Merkel first met Trump during a visit to DC back in 2017. In a video of the meeting, Merkel sticks out her hand to shake Trump's and he ignores the gesture. I even recall hearing Merkel say somewhat questioningly, 'Handshake?' -to no avail. I suppose no handshake is better than having one's arm jerked about for seconds on end like poor PM Abe of Japan had done to him by 'strongman' Trump. 

I can't think that either Merkel or Abe felt particularly warmed by any interactions they've had to endure with Trump. Grenell, on the other hand, claims Trump had 'charmed' Chancellor Merkel. Um, that is, to put it politely, doubtful. 

At around the 18 second mark of the above video one can hear a reporter ask Merkel if Grenell's claims are true. 

Merkel responds: What did he do (to me)?

Reporter: Charmed.

Merkel: Ach so.  Merkel pauses and smiles before going on to say that she doesn't report on internal discussions and gives no comment on that query specifically.

'Ach so' as a response is interesting in that I think it could be interpreted in a few different ways. Here it seems to be like 'oh, I see'. It certainly doesn't mean 'yes, that's correct'. I'm assuming she'd have said something to that end if Trump had, indeed, 'charmed' her. It's more likely he achieved the opposite effect. 





Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Departures

Trump shill, Kellyanne 'alternative facts' Conway, is leaving her White House job as counselor to the President. She has said that she's leaving in order to focus on her family. Her husband, George Conway, an actual Republican who loathes Trump, is also stepping away from his duties with The Lincoln Project in order to spend more time with family. The Lincoln Project, for those who don't know, is an organization founded by Republicans and its aim is to scupper Trump's chances at re-election. Maybe 'spend more time with family' is code for 'trying to save the marriage'? Given their diametrically opposed positions on The Donald and George's penchant for talking major shit about his wife's boss on social media, I would tend to think so.

I cannot bring myself to watch any of the RNC freak show currently being shown on television. I have, however, seen stills of Donnie Jr's girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle (our state governor's ex-wife) as she spewed her fear and loathing from the podium the other evening. She was so both demented and dynamic that her performance has spawned many-a meme. 

Here is a sampling---












Friday, August 21, 2020

Battling wildfires and a slow postal service



We have hundreds of wildfires blazing at the moment here in California. Not having enough manpower to adequately fight the flames, inmates trained as firefighters fill in the gaps. Inmates, I should add, risk their lives for a pittance. I read somewhere that these men are paid a dollar an hour during active duty. The real kicker is that once these men are released from prison, they are barred from working in the fire department. They are trained, have performed the work--some even working directly on the fire-line--but these convicts are not eligible to work as firefighters upon release. -such a shame.

***


Louis DeJoy, the Trump-appointed Postmaster General, has set about instituting cost-cutting measures resulting in a massive slowdown of mail delivery. Traditionally, postal workers are trained not to leave mail behind and to make multiple delivery trips to ensure timely distribution of letters and parcels. DeJoy has demanded that mail reaching distribution centers in the afternoon will simply be left until the next day's delivery. I wonder how mail carriers are reacting to this about-face. I know that I, as someone who receives some medication via mail, am concerned about timely deliveries. Speaking of timely deliveries, Trump is hoping that this hobbling of the post office will help keep his sorry ass in the White House. I've just read that DeJoy is currently facing a rigorous questioning by the US Senate. We'll see what this turn of events brings. 


***


I leave you with beach pictures taken during our recent heatwave. I was fortunate to have shown up to the beach during a massive feeding frenzy out in the water. I saw pelicans a-plenty, breaching whales & jumping dolphins. It was such a dynamic sight. I stayed until sunset. 




Tide-pool pals.



Blow-hole exhalation!



Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Fractured family

The death of a parent can unearth some long-held family secrets, or at the very least untangle confusing family stories. My siblings' mother, whom I'll call 'B.', recently died. In the weeks leading up to her death, she sought to unburden her conscience. Esophageal issues meant that she had had a hard time articulating herself, but managed to share with my brother that she'd been 'too immature' in her marriage to our father. Given that she was only 19 and dad just 21 when they married, that tracks. My brother thought that what she was trying to say was that she'd been unfaithful. I didn't believe it. When would a young mother with two, small children to mind have time to cheat? It turns out that I was being naive.

In speaking with my mother recently, our father's second wife & the woman who raised my siblings, I shared with her how things have been going for my siblings since their mom's death. I mentioned what my brother had speculated re: marital infidelity. Mom said, 'Oh, yes, your father told me that B. had run off with a married man who had also had children.' 

So B. hadn't been ready for marriage and she wanted to have fun. I can't blame a young person for wanting to have a good time. I can also understand how many women of that generation felt like the only way of getting out from under the thumb of controlling parents (in her case, an overbearing father) was through marriage. It's certainly too bad that B. couldn't have sowed her oats prior to having children. But of course, the expectation, too, at that time was that women were to marry, then in fairly short order become mothers. This would seem to have been especially true in the working-class world of their youth. 

Even thought the affair didn't last, dad sought out divorce. My siblings' mother was awarded custody of the children, not an uncommon judgement in the mid-1960s. Sadly, not only was B.'too immature' for marriage, but she was also not ready to be a parent, let alone a single one. This fact led to some unfortunate occurrences which showed B. in a very unfavorable light and dad was able to successfully petition the court for child custody.

Growing up, we three kids knew the story of how dad 'got the kids'. What we didn't know until recently was why his first marriage dissolved. Did my sibs never ask? I certainly didn't as it was not any of my business. I'm sure in trying to build an adult relationship with their mother over these past nearly 40 years, they probably felt like they didn't want to 'rock the boat' by asking about painful subjects tucked away. The waters certainly would have become choppy had they done so, and I would imagine that my siblings could not risk destabilizing an already delicate relationship.



Chill and not chill.

Raise your hand if you've paid more in taxes than the D-rate, TV celeb currently occupying the White House! Seriously, fuck that guy. I ...