Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Musings (The Women's March on Washington)

 We boarded the metro at 7:30 in the morning on the day of the March .  We went very early because we were organizing a group of women from Wellesley College and we needed to be there to greet them and give out name tags and sashes .  Because we left so early we didn't run into any trouble on the metro, but an hour later we were getting reports that there were two hour waits in Virgnia just to get on the train to DC .  

After meeting up with the ladies of Wellesley, we headed over to the rally location. The Rally featured many great speakers like Michael Moore, Gloria Steinem, Maxine Waters, Elizabeth Warren.and actress America Ferrera.  Singer and actress Ashley Judd read a powerful poem that a friend of hers had given her to read and it really got the crowd stirred up . We were watching the action fthe Jumbotron at Independence  and sixth, the closest we could get to the stage three blocks away .  The crowd continued to grow and by hour three we were shoulder to shoulder, backpack to belly in a sea of humanity .   I don't enjoy being in a crowd, and this one got pretty claustrophobic .  I kept reminding myself why I was there and that these people were all my compatriots .  I could endure this crush if I stayed positive .   And so I did .

Toward the end of the rally the crowd was getting restless and wanted to march .  Four hours of speeches and songs was getting to be too much for the crowd and so between performances we would chant, " start the March start the March " to no avail. Even when we did begin to move, it was slow going. I became separated from my friends and became somewhat concerned, especially because cell service in the area was almost non existent. I kept the faith that somehow we would be reconnected, and we were.

So many wonderful handmade signs that made me laugh out loud -- this gathering was marked by humor and friendship.  I'll be posting photos of these signs after I return home and can process them.

But today is rainy and I'm perfectly happy to relax horizontally on the couch.  We stayed up late the night night of the march,  drinking wine and watching news footage of DC and all the sister marches around the world.  Women have spoken. Women were peaceful. Women have vowed to hold this  administration accountable. We have pledged NOT to go backward.

It was inspiring to know that my friends across our nation were also marching in the streets.  An estimated 1 million marched in this country alone.  It was the first time since the election that I felt good, powerful, and empowered.  The women will keep my spirits high for a long time to come, because, as we sang, "This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York island....this land was made for you and me."  And because women are fuckin' fierce.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Black Friday

I sit here in Falls Church, Va., about 8 miles from  the White House in DC. In 3 hours   El Cheeto, Fuckface von Clownstick, will be sworn in
I read this morning that he had requested a military style parade for today, a la North Korea, China and Russia. Our military told him "no" because, for one, the public streets do D.C. Are not equipped to handle a 100,000 pound tank, much less a bunch of them. (Is this really happening?) He is getting a flyover however, the first inaugural flyover since 1949.

Friends are coming in from all corners of this states, and even Antarctica, to march tomorrow. I'm feeling a strange mix of dread and exhilaration. We are crossing our fingers for rain today (it has been forecasted) and mild temps tomorrow. 

My hosts here have been lovely. I have the most comfy guest bed ever, which makes it a challenge to leave it every morning. It calls to me, reassuring me there is no reason to leave it for ANYTHING except the call of nature.  "Courage," I tell myself, "courage."

I spent my first day in DC at the Smithsonia American History museum. The array of exhibits was breathtaking, from Julia Child's kitchen, to the inaugural ball gowns of the First Ladies, to Lincolns top hat he wore on that fateful evening.  We ate lunch in the museum's cafeteria and sat near a window with a perfect view of the Washington Memorial and the African American Museum in near alignment.

Later in the day we went to the MLK monument and the WWII monument, which was just beginning construction the last time I was here. The MLK statue is much more appealing in person than on the news.  Then back on the Metro to Falls Church.

So, yes, tomorrow is OUR big day, pussyhats and all.  I carry the good wishes of so many friends with me.  I even advocate for the rights of women who voted for von Clownstick. They may not know it, but the need the advocacy of other women.

Let the revolution begin. 

Friday, January 13, 2017

TGIF

What a week, eh?  I've been indulging in numerous movies and seriels on Netflix and Amazon video, including a great seriel called Goliath starring Billy Bob Thorton.  It's one of those tales that lays bare the evil that we all fear, the notion that we are not in control and that dark forces will win.  Except, in this case, as with the story of David and Goliath, David prevails.  Otherwise, the whole game is an exercise in futility.

I'm ticking off my list of things to take to D.C. for the march.  While some may wonder at the usefulness of protest marches, I still hold hope that they matter.  I've been protesting in the streets since 1974, even taking my young daughter to a march, in her stroller, to protest the first Iraq war.  Alongside me was a friend who was 80 something years old at the time.  We pissed people off who were just trying to drive home from work, as we clogged a main street in Santa Cruz.  Luckily, no driver took it upon themselves to charge through the crowd.  I believe in protest, but I am also very cautious and don't go looking for trouble during these actions.  There is news, rumors really, that agitators will be in D.C., and we will be on the look-out for them.  I'm going prepared, as if on a week-long back packing trip, and I hope I am thinking of every contingency.

Ted and Steve on our way to Yosemite, 2014
The insanity of the week was buffered by our viewing of the concert of Leonard Cohen in London (wow wow and wow) and watching the documentary of our friend photographer Ted Grant.  Ted has had one heck of an interesting life, and this film is inspirational.  Ted is beloved by his countrymen, and well beyond.  He remains, to this day, a humble and sweet man who is happy to share his stories and lessons learned to eager photographers who seek his counsel.  One just feels good in his presence. 

So, do yourself a favor and watch something inspirational, because, after all, everybody knows.

"Everybody Knows"


Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows




Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday Musings

(notice the speed here)
My delightful weekend with daughter and her family ended badly, as I was stuck on the dreaded and predictably impassable Hwy 17 in the Santa Cruz mountains for 2 hours yesterday afternoon.  The storms have been hammering the mountains and brought down power lines along the road.  And now, today, there is a large rock and mud slide exactly where we were stranded yesterday.  Knowing those mountains the way I do, I was wondering (while trapped on that ribbon of highway) what could we possibly do if the rocks and mud came down while we were sitting there?  We'd be toast.  From the video I saw this morning (California CHP), one van was toast.  My son in law drives that road to work.  As do thousands of others each day.  I can't imagine how long it will take to clear this slide, but there aren't any alternative routes for most commuters.  During the Loma Prieta earthquake, rock slides blocked the highway for a long time.  We were cut off, and relied on helicopters to get supplies in.

So I laughed when my husband suggested they 'fix that road.'  They've been fixing it since 1940.  They will be fixing it until hell freezes over, and perhaps after.

 Though ending badly, the weekend was special -- my daughter's 29th birthday, and the next day her baby shower for child #2, a girl.  The kids have great friends, many from childhood, and it's always fun to catch up and see what they are doing.  There were many many babies there.  More babies in one room than at any time since I was in a group for new moms!  These kids are gettin' busy with the family thing.  

It's exciting to see them at this stage in their lives, starting out, as it were, the world their oyster.  I'm too tired to envy it, I'm just glad I got through it.  More power to them.

When I finally got home last night, I took a  hot shower and opened the box my sister sent.  I knew it had come, and I was very excited because it contained 5 pussy hats for the Women's March.  How sweet of  her to knit them for my friends and me.  Generous.  Loving.  I will carry her with me at the march.

It's fast approaching, and I am flying out soon.  Doing my preparation and homework to ensure a smooth experience.  I'm marching with a group of Wellesley women, how cool is that?  Why, you ask?  Why would a  true blue Banana Slug do that?  Because that's who I'm  hangin' with, that's why.

Each passing day of this presidential transition just increases my need to march against this fakakta regime.  The Cheeto's tweets today about Meryl Streep are just the latest, daily, unrelentingly stupid things this moron says. 

And that's Monday for you.

Friday, January 6, 2017

TGIF

I did it.  I put my toe in the shark infested waters.  I asked my dad what he thinks about Drumpf and his Russian connections.  Just because I was truly curious.  The response was predictable, and it was from Drumpf himself.  My dad believes the Intelligence Agencies have it all wrong, "and, after all, the CIA doesn't agree with the assessment."  What?  I asked.  Yep, he assured me.  So of course I knew it was bullshit and came home, immediately found the truth on the NPR website, and sent him a link.  Of course he will label it fake news.  He is no different than the legions of idiotic followers, and only watches FOX and believes that any news he doesn't support is fake.  I did keep the conversation limited to this.  And mother closed her eyes and fell into a dream to escape the looming death match.  

Last week I received the news that the kids are probably moving out of state this summer.  While I desperately wanted them to move to our area so I could see them more often, their decision is a wise one and one I ultimately wholeheartedly support.  This is going to be a big change.  We'll adapt with more Face Time and Skype, and airplane trips to be able to hold and touch.  I'm excited for the opportunities it will provide them -- the ability to buy a home, to have a better standard of living, to raise a family with less financial pressures.  I think it's a smart move.  And I'm focusing on that rather than the fact that they won't be in my own neck of the woods.  My baby will turn 29 this weekend.  I've been lucky to have her so close all this time.

We had big storms here this week.  This morning we awoke to sunshine, and I blinked in disbelief at the bright light coming in through the window above my bed.  We had friends from out of town, despite the storms, and managed to get out with them for dining and the movies.  We saw La La Land and I wasn't a fan.  Not a disaster of a movie, but I was disinterested.  I was disappointed because I've heard good reviews.  But when the two leads had no chemistry, I just couldn't buy the premise.  We hear the good movies to see are Fences, Moonlight, Allied.

photo credit: Steve Barbour
The rest of the month is busy:  weekend trips, visitors, and then my trip to D.C. to participate in the Women's March.  I've got to prepare strategically for this one: it is likely we will be in freezing temperatures for hours.  I'll want my medication, my juice for low blood sugar, my camera and gear in good working order.  I even  have the phone number of an attorney in D.C. to call if I get in a bind, courtesy of a friend of mine.  My sister is sending the Pussy Hats she knitted for me and some friends.  My husband, though he would love to come, is staying home to care for the doggies.  It takes a village, my friends.

I hope your new year has been good so far.  C'mon, what are the chances it hasn't?  Okay.  Well, maybe not so good.  We'll keep lifting each other up, okay?  Is that a deal?  Muchas gracias, amigos.