Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Coffins

Coffins.

Why did it have to be coffins, my first look at the flood of 2016? Why did it have to be coffins floating in flood waters near the site where I escaped both levee failure (LA) and Katrina (MS) in 2005?

Some macabre Louisiana joke, I lied to myself while stuck on the image, sitting at a desk in an office...you're one of the lucky ones, my survivor's guilt snaps at me. Still, these bad jolts, followed

by feeling grateful for the lack of human death this go 'round, while lead-stomach sickened for them all, including the coffins' occupants, including my friends in ashes within urns in New Orleans, the ones who didn't make it and here I am staring

at that photograph, in 2016, followed by blinking in relief that now there is less vitriol in the press, with a side of big question mark on how they couldn't care less...care forgot.

I didn't.

Ashes.

Coffins.

Spirits

Monday, August 15, 2016

Spirit

Seeing coffins float

in flood waters in

photographs of Baton Rouge just took me right back, these

hard helpless jolts...

SE LA, you are in my thoughts, my heart--you are in me.

And a part of me is always there, in spirit, for better & for worse.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Game Show: Mirror Mirror

Today's game show is brought to you by coffee and waking up too early on a Sunday after going to bed too early on a Saturday:

I call it: Mirror Mirror

Premise: You really need to take a look in one, if not two, mirrors, Contestant.

And we'll start off with two strong contenders, so strong they may even have double-handedly inspired this game (I read the news today, oh boy!):

Game Show Contestant A
Jill Stein: Hillary Clinton is the problem; she is not the solution to Donald Trump

Oh, how the crowd ooh'd; oh, how the crowd ahh'd!

Game Show Contestant B
Rudy Giuliani: Everybody should calm down

Oh, how the crowd oozed; oh, how the crowd ahh'd!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I'm With Her

Sunday, July 24, 2016

39

Thoughts on my Thirties

I'm not doing it on purpose, but my experience of being in my 30s seems to differ from what I hear heralded as positive or typical or negative. For instance, I like the generation of younger people labeled millennials. I liked my 20s better and no, not because I was partying, tho I could write a field guide or two.

I like myself and my thoughts and the way I feel inside better in my 30s. It's been a more internal, solo at times trip. Even the two men I've loved in my 30s have been more introverted.

My focus is more on the future and I've learned I'm more of an optimist than I thought. I've re-learned that I get along well with people older than me, too.

I've had this entire decade with my cat, who defies conventions about cats, some of which are easy to defy since they're based on stupid stereotypes, others of which make him even more magical to me, like how he does not sleep more than 10 hours a day, if that. He is always up with his energy. Sometimes, I worry about him passing on, just the thought of it has me in tears. I have less interest in, or tolerance for, unkindness, or sexist crap. In this vein, I have had more harm done to me by men alleging to be my friends than any man I've ever dated.

I'm fortunate to have been well loved by well men, another reality I've become more cognizant of here in my 30s.

I don't care what an outlier it makes me, the idea of giving up my last name is offensive and bizarre and I won't do it. Any kids I have or adopt will bear my last name. How about them apples?

Here in my 30s, what is the deal with moaning about being old or single or this or that in a country where the average life expectancy is 78.74 years? I'm not talking about talking about frustration, but the complaining, as if we have failed or been failed and maybe we have but now we must what? Return ourselves to the factory where we were made? Get a receipt for more time?

There's only going on, even with stalling.

I plan to live 'til I'm at least 95

still waiting

No response or public acknowledgment from my Representative's office yet, though I wasn't expecting one, per se...

I'm glad Obama et al. attended the memorial service in Dallas for those murdered officers.

I wish they had and would do the same for all of these murdered unarmed citizens. It should not be seen as an indictment of all police to be horrified by police shootings.

I expect the police to be horrified, too.
(I mean, talk about the coworker from hell)

And, better still, to show it instead of phasing right into straw man defensive mode.

I think we need to treat and pay our police better, too, including having our taxes go toward covering their uniforms and equipment. When I was doing a lot of freelance reporting, I tried to advocate for better policies toward officers and wanted to interview some officers, even after they grilled me regarding my intentions, showing they know very little about journalism in the process, which would have been fine; I don't expect them to be experts in anyone's field but their own, as with anyone else (I grant cops no magical powers or hero status, though I appreciate good cops a lot--so, yes, as with anyone else: they are part of the community, no matter how much some departments or bad actors may choose to stand apart from the community).

What didn't feel fine was the condescension or their paranoia, which was way out of bounds, given that a) I'm unarmed b) They have the public's trust and c) I'll most likely be branded a liar no matter what I do and d) Something about how they could easily frame most citizens, and otherwise abuse them: hey, now there's tape. I said my piece and gave a little reassurance, but there's only so much time and energy a writer who is not only not having uniform or equipment covered, but also not being paid (read: on spec), can offer to men with fake names, who then take to insulting her using her real full name on the Internet. Of course the thread no longer exists.

But in print, they decided I had a liberal or somehow negative agenda, a preconceived conclusion they had set out to prove to themselves & did. So, that sucked, i.e., being called mean names and menaced online by grown, armed men who, facts being facts, my tax dollars support, and I don't really want to work in that area anymore as a writer or a woman; too much risk. And yes, it brought to light some truths for me that I just can't discard, nope.

And through all this, through these years that can grind, still waiting for the focus on male violence that we need in this country

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Black Lives Matter.

Dear Representative Schiff:

Hello. I am a member of your district. I am writing you not to request something specific, as I'm not sure what specific to request, but to simply implore you to join the effort to ensure the African American citizens in our community are better protected and defended loud and proud by your office.

I'm sure you share in my deep-seated conviction that the redundant, unjust and frankly insane violence and murder perpetuated against black people by police across this country, including here in California, is UNACCEPTABLE. However,

we ALL need to hear you voice this conviction, especially given how few white public figures are voicing this conviction and, even worse, are engaging in excuse-making, gaslighting and racist memes to deny and thus perpetuate this insane violence and murder.

Please speak out.

People like me are out here and we are behind you, in this frightening Trump era. I am holding myself to a higher standard on speaking out and reaching out, too, and encouraging my fellow citizens to do so, as well.

I thank you for your time, effort and consideration.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Democracy

Bernie Sanders, the longstanding senator born and bred in the 718, the senator who I listened to for seven years every week answering calls from constituents and listeners of the Thom Hartmann show with consistency, specifics, concern and care, a real liberal, the Amendment King, an actual real person, a feminist like his predecessor, if not his predecessor's predecessors, got my vote today, that's for damn sure.