I know, Betty, I know.
The current reality show everyone’s discussing is really not up to snuff compared to some other reality shows I’ve watched. Can’t wait until they’re all voted off.
The other day I think I found the report I wrote on Lurleen Wallace, the 46th governor of Alabama, when I was in the sixth grade. I have no idea where I saw that now; maybe I dreamed I saw it. But I definitely did write a report on her. I don’t know why she intrigued me so as a child, but now, from my perspective as an aging woman with few illusions about what it is to be a Southern female, she continues to interest me and elicit all my compassion.
Every time I name one of RPM’s dogs Lurleen, I do it for her. I mean it as a compliment.
This beautiful Lurleen traveled on the most recent RPM transport. Happy life, sweet girl!
Bella, Edward, Katnip (first sighting in almost two years!), Lil Eddy Redux (because Kari has the real Lil Eddy), Lestat, and Angelica are shown with their new friend, HC. She looks happy, but the others look so serious. They must have some tough battles ahead. Courage, my little friends!
(You can’t see it in this photo because it’s too small, but as I was photographing this crew, I realized the word on the piece of art over the shoulders of Lestat and Angelica is “courage.” Nothing like having a theme handed to you!)
Current Photo Friday theme: Today
Somewhere between my old neighborhood and downtown, today still has a little bit of yesterday.
Someone I know has a strong opinion about recent events, and I have a place where he can express it. The following is a guest editorial.
I’m not somebody who writes a lot about the state of politics or shares my feelings on them often, for a variety of reasons. There are a lot of people who are much more knowledgeable than I am on the topic. But I don’t know that I can sit on my hands and not say anything any longer. At least not in good conscience.
I’m happy to own the part of this that may be just me living in my own denial. But I have to say it really rubs me the wrong way to hear Trump constantly referred to as the President Elect. He hasn’t won anything. He has, by all counts, lost the popular vote by just under three million votes. And the Electoral College doesn’t vote until December 19. Let’s see how that pans out.
Given my admission that I am not as well spoken in the political arena as others are, I have to ask the question that I’m not hearing anyone else ask. The CIA says that the Russians had a direct hand in influencing the election so their preferred candidate would win, in addition to confirming hacks into the DNC and attempts to hack (evidently unsuccessfully?) into the RNC computer systems and databases. And evidently, the POTUS and Congress knew all about it in advance of the election. But POTUS, in apparent response to a threat by Senator Mitch McConnell, said nothing since McConnell allegedly threatened to frame any revelation as politically motivated. (I’m not sure why that matters, but evidently it did to Obama.)
Somehow, through all of this, we’re supposed to accept the results of the “election” that was manipulated by the Russians as valid. Why is no one calling to nullify the results of this election? (I’d like to think my reaction would be the same regardless of whether my candidate won or not. The thought that any other country could have such broad-reaching influence on our election is sickening.)
I don’t understand the complacency of the Democratic Party, with Senator Chuck Schumer simply saying, “We’ll have to look into this in a bipartisan way after the holidays.” It sounds a lot like, “Vacation is more important than protecting the democracy we have sworn to uphold and defend.”
I don’t understand how everything just keeps moving forward like a runaway train, and no one seems to question anything (of importance).
Because I haven’t had enough to do while I’ve been sick (is there a font called “sarcasm?”), I decided to foster a sweet little girl dog. It was supposed to be for only a few days until she traveled. But as things have a way of going awry, we realized after we picked her up that she wasn’t simply trying to recover from her spay surgery, something was wrong. She wasn’t thriving, and on the second day we had her, I learned she also had a brother in RPM’s program. Long story short, after getting her good medical treatment from RPM’s clinic and reuniting the siblings, we ended up with two fosters who’ll be with us until mid-April.
This is Shannon.
And this is her brother Richie.
They are six months old and both now in great health and full of mischief. I have to keep a close watch on them, because there is no predicting what trouble they’ll get up to next. For example, I have a small wooden child’s chair with a woven seat that became a tasty, tasty toy. While I was sweeping that up, I realized Anime was on the couch chewing on something. I assumed it was a piece of the same little chair, but no. She’d taken a magazine off the bottom shelf of a table and was eating it. This is the other problem with having two bad toddlers–they lead our teenagers Anime and Delta into misadventures. I keep finding things they’ve pulled from various shelves to hide in dog beds and other places.
Tom’s first question about the magazine Anime was eating was who was on the cover. Chris Martin.
I get crap at Houndstooth Hall for liking Coldplay; apparently cheeky little Anime is on their side.
Mostly I was glad it wasn’t this magazine, because I’d been planning for a while to use it for a photograph and some musing during this insane political year.
There are maybe a handful of songs in our lives that we can remember exactly where we were and who we were with the first time we heard them. “Under Pressure” is one of those songs for me. I lived in Tuscaloosa, two doors down from a friend who’s still my friend, in a big but characterless apartment with a guy who–on the rare times I think of him–I’m so grateful is not still in my life. He and I were listening to the radio one night when I heard this song for the first time. I liked Queen, and I liked David Bowie; the pairing on this song was a little bit of magic. I had almost no money then, but I went down the hill the next day to Albertson’s grocery store, where you could still buy a 45 record, and brought this one home with me. I have no turntable now, but I’m sure it’s full of lots of snap, crackle, and pop from being overplayed.
Freddie Mercury and David Bowie: two amazing artists, lost 25 years apart, and what a legacy they left with all they created, including this song. Since that long-ago day, “Under Pressure” has been covered, sampled, part of movie and television soundtracks, and used to sell products. To me, it still has the same purity as the first time I heard it. I’m still affected by the lines, Love’s such an old fashioned word, and love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night, and love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves, this is our last dance…this is ourselves…under pressure.
Despite the terror of knowing what this world is about, may I always give love…give love…give love…give love…”
Sometimes it’s so much easier to love dogs than people, but I try.
Have you ever known people who seem to lose their identities to a new love interest in their lives? The friend who thinks that roughing it means having to budget an entire month without a mani/pedi then suddenly goes rock climbing because that’s what the new Mr/Ms Right likes doing? Who becomes a vegetarian just to please a potential romantic partner? Who’ll take a ballroom dance class when his idea of a fun night is throwing darts down at the pub with his buddies?
There’s a fine line between finding activities you can enjoy together and faking interest in something. In my younger years, I was guilty of plenty of what I now call “trivial pursuits” just to please or be compatible with someone I was dating. When–if–we grow up, we realize Mr/Ms Right is one who not only likes you for who you are, but who, rather than causing you to pretend to be someone you’re not, inspires you to be the best person you can be.
I was reminded of that by the first story in Best Gay Romance 2014, Eric Gober’s “Strange Propositions.” It’s set during the election season of 2008, when Prop 8 was on the ballot to eliminate Californians’ right to marriage equality at the same time Prop 2 would provide safer living conditions to farm animals. The narrator, Kenny, now living in L.A., has lost himself in a relationship with Trevor, a guy back home in Kansas. Then he meets Nate. After a shaky beginning, they go out on a first date just after both propositions pass.
From that moment, the decisions Kenny makes show us far more about who he is as a person than as a potential boyfriend. You can read the rest of his story in Best Gay Romance 2014, on sale now in ebook format and soon in trade paperback.
Excerpt reprinted with permission from Cleis Press. All rights reserved.