354

Another day, another tweet, another school shooting – this time by a fifteen year old who’s barely hanging on to life. That isn’t the reality show I had in mind a few blog posts back.

Can we say, just move on when everything is so out of control? I think we have to. Otherwise, we drown in the miasma of current news. Better to practice art or make music or write a sonnet. Actually, I’m not sure how to write a sonnet, so I’d better stick with apocalyptic fiction.

Speaking of apocalyptic fiction, Book 4 of the Suffer the Children series is nearly done. I’ve incorporated some of the Hopi ethos that I intend to return to in the sequel. Yes, dear readers, there will be a sequel, I promise. But it’s likely I won’t start to write it until after the first of the year. Everyone deserves a break at Christmas, right?

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. I bought the bone-in leg of lamb from Joseph’s..hope it’s good. John ordered a new grill that is both propane and charcoal. I think I’d like to cook the lamb over charcoal – might take away some of that Aussie mutton tinge. American lamb costs 4 times as much so charcoal is the plan. I’ll start working on the odds & ends (pickles and pickled mushrooms) this weekend. Michael has changed his mind about coming, so that’ll add cheesecake to the menu. It’s his favorite.

That’s all for now..keep the faith and do something fun this weekend.

355

Yesterday’s hearings were creepy..so many men telling so many falsehoods, exaggerations and just plain nonsense. I wonder how they look at themselves in the mirror? I guess they rationalize everything for getting conservative judges that will oppress everyone but them. Yuck.

But let’s talk about something else, shall we? I just finished reading The Pregnant Virgin, by Marian Woodman, a Jungian from Toronto. I found many parts of it to be astonishing. There’s this whole world of intuition and insight out there about which I knew nothing. I will re-read the parts that really spoke to me, because clearly I have a lot of catching up to do. Thank you, Elaine Heroux, Therapist Extraordinaire, for letting me know about that book and Jungian-based therapy. I feel like I’ve found a new home!

356

Started watching the impeachment hearings on NBC. Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd and some other guy were less than objective in their comments. Sadly, PBS is not broadcasting the hearings, so there’s no objective voice to comment on the proceedings. Nonetheless, I got to the point where the Republican attorney was asking Ambassador Taylor questions. He couldn’t be more out of central casting as a nefarious nabob of nastiness (to paraphrase Spiro Agnew. Check it out

Stephen Castor, Republican

Doesn’t he look nefarious? His name is Stephen Castor, and he is the Republican’s attorney asking questions.

The thing is, you can feel the animosity between the two sides in this impeachment hearing. It will go on for weeks, and be likely to add little to the record about what Trump has done. But the real problem is explaining away his behavior, which stinks. Both. His behavior and explaining it away as ok. Stinks. Reeks. This is what we’ve been reduced to. How long can this go on and have us remain a robust democracy? Not much longer, I’d say.

357

357 Magnum? A gun or a quantity of champagne? Miller – the champagne of bottled beers? What number bottle of beer on the wall? Another brick in the Berlin wall? The thirtieth anniversary of the fall. Fall is the season..A man for all seasons..Was Thomas More a saint or a hypocrite? Depended on who you asked..Anne Boleyn or Thomas Cromwell. Ah well, enough of the word association game.

Fifty one more weeks until the election, and y’all know the news – can Bloomberg be the first mayor of NY elected President? Low odds but these days, anything is possible.

Yesterday was Veteran’s day. The airwaves were full of old war movies, tv series and the like. I didn’t watch any of them. What I did watch was a rerun of the last episode of MASH on MeTV. It’s title was Goodbye, Farewell and Amen.

When the commercials came on, I turned to something else – can’t stand all those Medicare enrollment ads designed to con old people into switching out their good plans for a low premium/high-cost -to-them plan. The episode originally aired in February, 1983. Back then, I had a teenager, a two year old and was pregnant with Kirsten, so no wonder I missed it when it came on. But here’s the thing: as I watched the first half hour or so of the 3 hour run time, I had to turn away and do the dishes. It was a visceral reaction on my part to what Hawkeye Pierce, the main character, saw that drove him to madness. And I somehow knew it was coming, that a Korean woman smothered her crying child to prevent the busload of doctors, soldiers and refugees from being attacked by a Chinese patrol. It’s a classic story element, but I couldn’t watch it.

Now I could interpret this a number of ways, but frankly I think it’s aftershocks from telling the story of Clemmie and his impact on the family. He spoke to me while I was avoiding the program. All he said was he didn’t just want to be remembered as a function of the war. That was it. But an hour or so ago, I realized why he and I were so downhearted yesterday. With the story I conjured up, he helped ease other family members’ burdens by taking them on himself. Where his soul was at ease before my meddling, now he is feeling their pain. I’m beginning to regret having written it.

Clemmie’s Watch

361 & 360 & 359 & 358

Four days gone by and not a word? Guess I’ve been busy. But we seem to have fallen into a pattern with this blog of late, with appearance rather consistent and not a lot to talk about. I think that means I’m pouring my creative energy into other things – finishing the Clemmie story (done and revised based on Aunt Jopie’s input – like she’s only 88, not 89 – oops) and Book 4 of the Save the Children series (I got up at 2:30 yesterday morning to finish the detailed outline that will allow me to meet my Thanksgiving deadline). Plus, I have to think about writing down my dreams in preparation for my therapy session. But more about that another time.

What I really want to talk about today is a step back from the detail and look at the world as a whole. There are upsets everywhere: Bolivia, Hong Kong, Baghdad & Basra in Iraq, Lebanon, Santiago, Chile.

Rioting in Baghdad

It would appear social media has made rioting a highly contageous, worldwide virus of action on the part of young people. But hey, kids, here’s the rub, as Shakespeare would say. It’s one thing to demand action and use varying degrees of violence to call attention to the need for change. But then – after you succeed and a power vacuum occurs – that’s when, historically, real trouble comes. Take Santiago. The Chilean president Piñera cancelled the November APEC Trade forum because of protests. That was the meeting where DtheT/crazier and President XI were supposed to ratify whatever phase of trade agreement the diplomats had conjured up. But as it’s cancelled, now they have to figure out a face-saving way to do it without calling a meeting that might show weakness on either side.

But let’s look at Chile’s history when there were protests, culminating in the election of a socialist president Salvador Allende. He didn’t last 3 years and Chile became a dictatorship with thousands of young people killed. Fear drives the middle and upper classes to approve of dictatorship, just looking to preserve their way of life. It’s generally young idealists that pay the price for these choices borne out of fear.

It also should be noted that Nixon/Kissinger’s CIA played a big role in the coup that brought down Allende and ultimately led to his death by either murder or suicide. That tendency of previous American administrations to meddle in foreign affairs is one of the things that ultimately will turn the rest of the world against the United States, with unfortunate consequences. Spoiler alert – all that will be found in Book 5.

So what are young people fighting injustice to do? Be aware that your actions have consequences, and if you don’t have any alternative for what fills the void after you topple the government, be aware: you may pay the ultimate price for that failure to plan.

That is all.

362

So has anything really exciting or interesting occurred in the past twenty four hours? I don’t think so. We are moving toward the inexorable end of the impeachment investigation, which everyone knows will end up with the GOP finding the malfeasance does not rise to the level of impeachment. In two days less than a year, we will have another close election that cannot be predicted at this time. So we need a different strategy for living.

Here’s what I was thinking…If we pretty much know how things will turn out with the impeachment drama, but we do not know how the election will turn out, as there are way too many variables at play in this reality show, how about if we just create a new, different and more appealing reality show? It’s supposedly all fake news anyway, depending on which side of the mirror you’re on. So let’s create a new country, a new system, new players – everything new. That way, we pretty much know how it might turn out, and we can make it the way we like. Cool, huh?

I think what I’ve just described is being in a state of schizophrenia. There is some advantage in being crazy.

363

So the election in Kentucky last night likely got rid of Matt Bevin. It wasn’t just that he was a bad Republican; he was also a jerk of a guy. Good riddance..hope the new guy does a better job for those folks in that state. I’m sure we’ll be stuck with McConnell for another six years; maybe he won’t live out his term and we’ll get another bite at the apple. He does look rather old, and he’s been there since the earth started cooling.

Despite the fact that Bevin was the least – or next to the least – popular governor in the country, he still only lost by about six thousand votes. Gee, people! What does it take for you to vote for the other guy? This one’s got a really creepy smile.

None of this means anything for the 2020 election, despite pundits claiming it means this or that or the other. It means they voted out a guy who was a jerk and voted in the son of a former popular governor of the state. That’s it. There are no trend lines here..

Started work yesterday on book 4, and it’s taking a little adjusting to get back into the groove. My characters apparently staged a walkout when I switched to writing the Clemmie story. Can’t say I blame them: who wants to stand around waiting for somebody else’s story to get told? So I’ll have to figure out how to lure them back to talk to me. Any ideas? I’m using lines from the Koran for Chapter headings, and I’m finding it interesting reading.

It’s like a mashup of Corinthians and Poor Richard’s Almanac. Lots of helpful advice, but so far, not a word about holy war or fatwah or kill American soldiers. Guess there must be a jihadi version – maybe from the dark web? Hijacking the Koran for fun and profit. Gives all Muslims a bad name, which isn’t at all right. Can’t we all just get along? Thanks, Rodney, RIP.

364

The presidential election is one year from today. Eternal optimists are banking on a Democrat winning the White House. Unipolar manic depressives are assuming DtheT/crazier will win again and life in the U S of A will get progressively worse. I tend to vacillate wildly between the two extremes – just like last time. In the end, he will either win or lose; it’s binary. In the interim, we’ll count the days and keep writing!

Speaking of writing, I started on book 4 today of the Suffer the Children pentalogy. I have about three weeks to finish it, so I’ll have to be diligent in my writing. The outline is fairly complete, so it should be just a matter of filling in the blanks. I’ll do my best to make the deadline.

That’s it.

366 & 365

A year and a day left to go, and things are getting tougher for El Presidente. But that’s all anyone talks about, so let’s talk about something else, shall we? Yes, we shall.

We could talk about New England losing to those bad fellas called the Baltimore Ravens, but I really didn’t watch the game enough to comment intelligently. Alternatively, we could talk about the Season 2 of Jack Ryan, but I am not liking it enough to bother. So formulaic; no telling how much it cost to blow all that stuff up, but explosions do not a movie make. Noomi Rapace is in it (isn’t she in nearly every movie where stuff blows up?) but they give her very little to do but be a sex interest and lie repeatedly. So nah..let’s not talk about that.

I know – I think I’d like to talk about making videos using Windows Moviemaker Pro. I need to sneak that project in amongst all the others I have, either just finishing or in production. I haven’t made any videos since Erik the Younger returned from his second war gig in Iraq. But it’s time and I have material. I’ve just never used Moviemaker Pro. Any knowledgeable people out there that want to help – let me know.

Finally, I think I would like to say I’m glad the Durrells in Corfu is over, and I thought the ending was well done. That’s all..just that.

367

We went to Vero Beach last night to hear my friend Pat’s Porch Poets read, and to have dinner with Pat, her husband Tom, my friend Susan and her husband Bob, and Pat’s marvelous daughter Meredith, who works in Baghdad (!) as a paramedic. After the reading, we had dinner at a pub, and then went back to the parking lot to retrieve Big Brown. Sadly, Big Brown had been towed away.

Y’all would have been proud of old Erik & me.

We didn’t panic, figured out who had taken BB and where, called Pat who graciously took us to the ATM to get cash (another !) and then to the impound lot, where $118 dollars later, we had him back and on our way back to Jupiter.

Now the lesson for everyone reading this is: 1) Just because it has a big P sign in the lot, doesn’t mean you can park there for free. It sure looked inviting, but that was the hook..we weren’t the only ones towed away that night. Apparently, this is a cash cow for Charlie’s Towing, who likely kicks back to the owner of the lot. It stinks and Vero should be ashamed to tolerate this scam. But the lesson for Erik and me? Don’t park there next time…find someplace else where BB will be safe and still there when we return. I like Pat too much to say we won’t go back to Vero…but I’d be willing to bet a lot of other people who had their cars towed are saying that. So much for downtown development on a Friday night! That is all.