Wednesday, September 25

The impeachment circus comes to town

Ivanka waving to delegates at the UN General Assembly
September 23, 2019
I haven't spent much time here on American fascism these last two years. I wrote plenty of political blog posts during the Bush-Cheney-Rove era but at that time, I at least, failed to notice the fascism just below the surface. Now it defines the Republican party and Twitter has been the outlet for my rage against it, Trump, FOX not News, climate deniers, both-sides-ism, nutjob evangelicals, white supremacists and all the other throwbacks, like radicalized incels, the NRA and its minions, go-along-to-get-along Americans, Repub or Dem, who remain silent as the sewer of fascism rises in America and around the world.

Silence is compliance

So I tweeted an offhand comment about Ivanka Trump being a bimbo at the UN General Assembly in NYC yesterday and got banned for six days. OK. It's a public space and it's not the first time. I'll dial it back but damn . . .  today the impeachment circus came to town.

Actual quote from Donald J. Trump
Nancy Pelosi finally launched a formal impeachment inquiry into this ham-fisted mobster trying to install himself as King of America for life. It's going to be fun on Twitter the next few days and I'm locked out. Oh well. It won't be over in six days, six weeks or probably six years. The Republican Party serves the same entrenched international oligarchy the late Jeffrey Epstein served. It supports abhorrent things like baby jails, environmental destruction, and the retooling of America into a Christian theocracy, genocide. Time it implodes and goes away or, at least, vomits out the fascism and joins the 21st century. As for Trump, his cronies, and spawn . . . I hope they spend rest of their days in court fighting criminal charges like flies caught in a web from which there is no escape then, dare I hope, in jail for the rest of their miserable lives.

Monday, September 23

Equinox 2019 - The Balance

I'm mostly ignorant of the solstice and equinox mysteries and rituals through the millennia. I haven't even watched the sun rise on Stonehenge, the most famous and popular of the prehistoric stone circles, though I have, on ordinary days, stood in the middle of a few in Ireland that were maybe three or four thousand years old and I am known to burn a candle in the dark of a solstice eve.

2019 Autumn Equinox PST
View from here - Autumn Equinox 2019

Today I read up on the difference between the meteorological and astronomical beginnings of the seasons. According to the meteorological calculation, each season always begins on the same calendar day. For example, in the northern hemisphere, autumn always begins on September 1.

OTOH, the astronomical calculation marks the beginning of the seasons by the relationship of the earth to the sun. There are spring and fall equinoxes (equal night/day) and the winter and summer solstices (longest/shortest night/day).

So today, 23 September at 07:50 UTC, the sun was directly over earth's equator. In the northern hemisphere this is the astronomical autumn equinox and beginning of Fall. In my current time zone that means the moment when light/dark were equal the world over occurred at 12:50 AM PST. I was asleep.

So . . . Happy Equinox 2019. Enjoy the balance. Let go. Rest a moment as the gears change. Now spring begins in the Southern Hemisphere and Autumn here in the north.

Autumn Equinox and already Alley's special morning sunny spot is fading so much sooner that it did.
Autumn Equinox and already
Alley's special morning sunny spot is not lasting as long.

Tuesday, September 3

Dear Aliens

Deal Aliens,

Please come and save us. We are not evil, just stupid, too stupid to not destroy our house and home and everything beautiful in it. Oh, and yeah, we're violent but mostly because we're so fucking stupid. A lot of us are trying to do better but we're feeble and inconsistent. I know we're just a speck and don't matter to anyone but ourselves but we'd appreciate a hand and will try to do better if we survive long enough to sort that out.

Hoping to hear from you soon. please read as before it's too late.

Best regards,
An Earthling

Sunday, August 25

August update

I mentioned earlier that this May I was diagnosed with cancer. It's a very rare type, myoepithelial carcinoma. Less than 600 cases have been reported since its discovery in 1972. MC usually occurs in a salivary gland but was on my kidney. The thing is, about 15 years ago I did have an enlarged salivary gland removed but, at the time, it was considered benign. Now we're not so sure. Most likely, the Nevada lab doing the biopsy had never heard of myoepithelial carcinoma.

Even this spring, after weeks of trying and being unable to determine exactly what it was, the Oregon lab had to send the kidney biopsy to a bigger, better equipped facility in Indiana for identification. In July, I had surgery at the Champalimaud in Portugal. An 8 cm (3.14 in) kidney tumor and a second smaller one on my neck were removed. Both were MC. At least for now there is nothing more to do. With MC, surgery is not generally followed with any other treatment though that may change as more becomes known about it. All I know at this point is that I'm tumor free. I'll be having initial follow-up tests in October to see what's up.

Wednesday, August 7

Note in a bottle

Hi world. What are you doing today? It's evening here where I am. I know. It's every time of day and night for you but where I am the sky is still blue and there are voices off in the distance and the sound of cars. Always the sound of cars. A vine is growing up the window screen. It's a beautiful thing to watch . . . strands winding around each other, their tips fragile and moist. I haven't got much else to say really.

Friday, June 21

Summer solistice 2019

In the southern hemisphere this is the shortest day of the year, the longest night, the pause, the time of in-going and renewal, the beginning of winter. Here in the northern hemisphere this is the longest day of the year, the beginning of summer, the dance, the lingering and going about. Wherever you are, whatever species you encounter as you go along your way today, be kind.

Unfortunately, the Summer Solstice is also the beginning of the 10 day Yulin dog meat "festival" during which thousands of dogs and cats are bludgeoned, blow-torched, skinned, and boiled alive for a 10 day drunken "feast".

Please help shut down the Yulin!

Sign the HSI petition and pass the link around. Thank you.

Sunday, May 19

Can't See Me

Several years ago I went through a very bad time. I was living in the hills of West Virginia and would come into town now and then to open my then husband's tiny electronic repair shop. He was a whiz that way. When I got to town the first thing I'd do was buy a bag short dogs, sit in the alley beside the shop and drink a couple. Then I'd open the shop. I didn't go in very often but as I recall we never had any customers when I was there. I played a lot of country music real loud those days. It helped. Marshal Tucker's "Can't You See" was a special comfort. I'm listening to it tonight as I write this. I don't live in West Virginia anymore. I don't even live in America anymore but it's another bad time and that song is still a comfort. This coming week I start a round a tests to determine if I have cancer.

Friday, April 26

German cornflakes in Portugal

It's been 17 days since leaving Nevada. So much has gone on. This morning my breakfast is German cornflakes in Portugal, but to recap . . . before we left Nevada Penny (the) Robin came by. Nice to see her in the Bird Park one last time. Also I went to Comma Coffee one last time, the scene of several poetry reading with Ash Canyon Poets though, ultimately that scene dried up and I lost contact with them.

The morning we left I hosted a giant feast in the Bird Park. In true crow fashion, Minerva put out the word and news spread fast. Literally in minutes more crows showed up than ever dropped by one time, even in winter. And, of course, Maggie, her magpie friends, and all the other birds also attended but it was the crows who made the biggest splash. For a brief while they flooded the place. It was wonderful. Of course I took a lot of photos but most didn't record. I don't know what exactly I did wrong but something. My favorite, that didn't take, was of a crow who landed very close, probably Charlie or Minerva. I'm sure it was to say thank you and good-bye. Crows are, after all, known for their willingness to befriend individuals of other species and their sense of fair play.

Thursday, March 21

No way to say goodbye

Packing, sorting, pruning and letting go of almost two decades of my life has been overwhelming but mostly it's done now and what's left tucked in boxes and ready to go. We move at the beginning of next week and then what? A new phase of my life? The last phase? I'm saying good-bye to friends. We assure one another we'll meet again but will we? Sometimes a door closes for the last time.

And then there are my beloved friends in the Bird Park. They made Nevada livable for me, even delightful . . . Maggie the 7 o'clock Magpie (7 o'clock because in the beginning she always came at 7 AM, before everyone else) and her tiding . . . the charmer Chatterbox Charlie along with beautiful Minerva and the rest of the crow congress . . . Plonk and his flight of pigeons . . . the bevy of doves with their sweet, forever melancholy call . . . the drifts of quail, generations now . . . the hilarious, head-banging quarrel of finches with their ridiculously comical, very serious fights . . . the mild-mannered sparrows . . . the flock of grackles with their most mellifluous song . . . Babette and Mr. Fancy Pants . . . the pool parties and dust baths . . . the old pigeon who came to spend his last days and after whom we named the pile of torn out lawn turf Old Man Hills . . . Penny Robin who came for her apples so many springs, even this one . . . I will miss them all terribly but always and especiallyMaggie.

7 o'clock Maggie Magpie wielding her apple
Maggie and a bit of apple

There is no way I can tell them that I love them but I'm going anyway, no way to say goodbye other than remove the little white table where, every morning I've been here for the past seventeen years, they have come for breakfast. The Bird Park was a haven most of that time, until the hawks showed up. At least that part will also end.

Wednesday, March 20

Moving update

Today is the Equinox, the beginning of spring here in the northern hemisphere, autumn in the south. May we all enjoy, if only briefly, this moment when light and dark are in balance.

I'm finally on the downside of packing. We move at the end of the month. It feels like a death, but not just because we've been in Nevada for 17 years. It's something deeper. Sorting through the memories, stones, and mementos I've collected along the way . . . the skull of a horse I found near a dry water hole, a horse killed in a brawl with another, head kicked in, jaw broken in several places . . . a whole mummified eagle's body . . . the half-billion-year-old trilobites I found in the Great Basin left from when this now desert was a vast, warm inland sea under the equator . . . the night coyotes sniffed our feet as we lay naked on our makeshift bed in back of the truck . . . the petroglyph of a pony express stop carved in nearby stone sometime in the previous two centuries . . . this is not just the end of a chapter, it is the end of a journey that is now a time gone by.

April 14 we leave for Portugal to apply to their residence program. This, of course, if I get my passport back in time. I forgot to sign the renewal application. When I realized this and called they assured me I'll get the new one before April 14. We shall see.

In more soothing news, the magpies, crows, and starlings have devoured their breakfast and moved on with their day. The little birds and quail are strolling around nibbling seed. Even Jimmy the squirrel put in an appearance.

Sunday, February 17

RIP Word Jazz Guy

Ken Nordine died yesterday, Mr. Word Jazz. I found one of his albums when I was a schoolkid. Along with Kafka and Rimbaud, he made sense at a time when not much else did, the '50s. I loved the bizarre conversations he had with his inner self . . . just him . . . just them . . . echoing in the mind . . . twisting, echoing, changing . . . free in lateral space.  He/they were wonderful, true artists. Bon voyage, guys.

Tuesday, February 5

There comes a time . . .

When it's over, when the next change changes everything, we call it death. Short of that, the end is often only realized it hindsight. Not so with this one. In April I will begin the process of becoming a resident and, eventually, a Portuguese citizen

I am writing this in a room converted from an outside deck which will become my office/studio base in Oregon. Half the ceiling is curved glass that comes down nearly to the floor and comprises 2/3s of the long wall facing east. The surface of the remaining portion of that wall and its opposite, were formerly the outside of the house. Boxes of collectables, not mine, are stacked to my left, marked and ready to be moved to storage until they are sold. In the north, the figure of a contemplative sits in meditation. Wooden beads hang from his neck and drape over the table along with a second necklace, a Chinese prayer card with a long gold tassel. Behind him are four Chinese small reddish clay tea pots of varying shapes and sizes. All sit on a small deep red rug with an intricate design. They too will be packed, moved, and eventually sold.

I will miss my birds in the Bird Park. Maggie the Seven O'clock Magpie still looks for me. She knows I will always return. Last week, after being gone six months and back one day, I put some peanuts out and she showed up. I will miss her. I will always miss her, especially in the morning, and the others . . . beautiful Minerva the crow, the quail clan, the little birds, the spring robins coming for their apples, Plonk and the rest of the pigeons, charming chatterbox Charlie and the rest of the crow clan, but especially and always my Maggie.

Saturday, January 12

Straigue Stone Fort 1700 years later

For years I stuck to a timeline, ever running to keep up with the present but that is changing. Perhaps traveling has helped move me off the stuck point. The past is ever with us, not only in memory and dream but effect and also quite physically. But enough rhapsodizing.

Me, Swami, and Juan Carlos
Staigue, Kerry, Ireland

Straigue stone fort in Co. Kerry Ireland was built during the late Iron Age making it about 1,700 years old. No adhesive of any kind has held it together for the last almost 2000 years. It still stands because it was built right and no hotshot developer has come in with a bulldozer to clear the land for yet another soulless shopping center, condo project, freeway etc.

Trump shutting down government

Shutting down government hoping to force America to pay for his wall be the first thing Donald Trump has ever claimed credit for that, in fact, he actually did.