May the candy be full sized, the trick or treaters sweet as can be, and may you have no eggs or toilet paper decorating your home or yard.
Also, I hope nothing too scary shows up on your doorstep!
Friends are like bras; a good one never lets you down
May the candy be full sized, the trick or treaters sweet as can be, and may you have no eggs or toilet paper decorating your home or yard.
Also, I hope nothing too scary shows up on your doorstep!
I’ve been sick for a week now. Laryngitis, headache, occasional fever, some congestion. You know the drill. And I’m sick of it. I’ve exhausted all my patience with being sick, of having to strain to be heard, of getting dizzy when I move. I’m so done with it all.
On the plus side: I’ve seen a bunch of good movies, binge watched some shows, almost caught up on all my regular TV shows, read some books, snuggled with the cats, and managed to NOT get King Arthur sick.
Bad news: I got this update from the San Diego Zoological Society in my mailbox:
We regret to inform you that over the weekend we received terrible news: Suni, one of the last remaining northern white rhinos, passed away at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, where he was living with three other northern whites. Poaching is not suspected as the cause of Suni’s death.
This brings the total world population of northern whites down to only six: three remaining in the preserve in Kenya, one at the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic, and two here (including our Nola), at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
As profoundly devastating as this news is, with your support we will continue working to save and protect the world’s most threatened species.
You know how I feel about rhinos and this makes me exceedingly sad. For anyone (like you, Pam!) who has watched the Stephen Fry series Last Chance to See, you will likely remember Fry’s trip to Africa (and to the Czech Republic) as he documented the efforts of scientists to move two northern white rhinos to Africa in hopes of getting the few remaining animals breeding. Personally, I hate to think of us losing a magnificent animal in our lifetime simply because humans have hunted them out of existence. And that is exactly what’s been done. Sometimes we humans suck. For more about the death of Suni, Nat Geo has an article very much worth reading.
To end on something more positive, I found a sweet series of photos of stray cats by the same guy who did the series of photos of his neighbors (sans their consent — of which I’m not a fan and find his intent to profit from it a bit exploitive, but no one’s asked my opinion). Anyhow, I figured I’d send you off to look at both and see what you think. (I adore the Strays series immensely as it totally captures the essence of absolute catitude, and while I’m not a fan of the method of capturing the images of The Neighbors, I do see the beauty in the images.) So, go on…have a look, then come back and share your thoughts. I’ll be waiting here with my nasal spray and tissues and remote control.
There is an unease in my heart today. I cannot forget the morning of September 11, 2001. I cannot forget waking up and watching the world fall apart. I cannot forget the confusion on the face of my children. I cannot forget the pain on the faces of those who lost loved ones. I cannot forget the way neighbors came together in sadness and shock to offer comfort to one another, whether or not they knew them. I cannot forget. There is unease in my heart today as I remember how strong we rose from the ashes of tragedy and how easy it has been for some to forget, for them to contort reality into something other than what it was and is. There is unease in my heart today.
Never forget! Never forget the lives lost. Never forget how we turned toward one another instead of away from one another.
Never forget! Never forget that freedom is not easily won, nor is it easily kept. Those who have it must protect and nurture it. Those who don’t have it will always try to rip it away from those who do.
Never forget! We cannot pretend events were anything but what they were. Lives were lost. Hearts were broken. Never forget!
There is an unease in my heart today because I cannot forget. Because I will never forget.
A few posts from the past, with videos and important links:
Even while we continue to heal, we must never forget.
Prince George is going to have a baby brother or sister!
Sadly, Kate is once again hyperemetic and requiring a bit of extra monitoring. Hopefully this will pass quickly.
Having been through the same thing while pregnant with Little Dude, it’s not at all fun. When you get to the point where you’re green around the gills all the time, requiring bed rest, medication, and even the occasional trip to the hospital, you begin to wonder if it’s all worth it. The answer is, YES! It’s just hell going through it.
Here’s wishing Kate better days ahead soon, a healthy pregnancy, and a healthy baby!
P.S. Wondering if Prince William ever calls Harry a royal pain in the ass…
I love watching docos on television. One series I really love (though I hate that it exists for obvious reasons) is Last Chance to See with Stephen Fry from the BBC.
We shouldn’t have to have shows about this being our last chance to see anything! In this day and age, with such awareness of how interconnected all life forms are, we shouldn’t have to witness extinction of so many species. On the other hand, thank goodness we have shows like this so we have a better understanding of what we risk losing if we continue to behave so carelessly toward the animal world. Hell, we do the same to one another. The point is, what I’m really trying to say is this: we’ve spent the last 100 years being very poor stewards of the wild and we’re paying for it dearly. We’re losing so many natural treasures, but we do have people willing to trek ’round the world to document efforts to preserve as much of each dwindling species as possible.
Stephen Fry is an absolute delight. He’s both informative and curious, thoughtful and pragmatic; he’s also very funny. In other words, he’s the perfect host for the show.
One of the best segments from the Last Chance to See: Kakapo episode was the following.
I’d just been reading about the kakapo this past weekend. It’s a funny little bird, looking part parrot, part owl. Endearing in every way.
I have more thoughts. Many more. But, I’ll get to those soon enough. For now, enjoy the video.
Even if you think it is, you don’t know what’s going on inside them that they haven’t shared with you.
From one of my Facebook posts:
One of the greatetst gifts ever given to me was a friend I found while waiting in line to see Craig Ferguson. Each day she reminds me she understands what I’m going through, reminds me that it’s okay to cry, and reminds me that she’s there if I need her. I do the same for her for all the same reasons.
While sitting on a bench, before being herded into pre-show line, I’d reached into my purse and grabbed a lemon drop. I turned to her and offered her some. I told her I had almost said, “have a sweetie?” Right away she got the reference (Saving Grace, 2000) and we were fast friends. I knew I should have just said it because it was instinct that told me she was a kindred spirit.
Her grace and her love of life are not diminished because of her illness. In fact, I think her illness makes her shine ever brighter. She’s my hero.
We all need friends like that. We all need each other. While love can’t cure depression or addiction, it goes a long way to helping people realize they are not alone.
Living with chronic pain sucks. Whether it’s physical pain or emotional pain. It sucks. It sucks the life out of you. It eats away at your heart and your head. It hurts those around you. Depression is a common cohort with chronic pain. You fight it. And fighting that kind of battle every single day wears you down. (I almost said, “wears you the fuck down”, but didn’t want to offend anyone.) That’s the truth, though. And having good people in your bunker, fighting alongside you is one of the best tools in your arsenal.
No one gets through this world alone. I think we forget that all too often. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends when you hurt. You never know…they may be going through the same thing and may be emboldened enough by your admission to open up and release some of their own burdens. In a way, just by being honest with someone you could end up saving two lives: yours and theirs
True story. My friend, my new, dear friend. She has no idea how much I admire her. She’s one of my heroes. Her life is difficult. Her illness is greatly debilitating. And yet, I’ve never known her any other way and I found her to be one of the liveliest and loveliest people on the planet. She shines. She SHINES! She is one of those people blessed with the gift of love that simply pours out of her.
Had it not been for Craig Ferguson, we’d never have met and my life would be poorer. But we did meet and because of her, I laugh when I feel like crying, cry when I really need to, and spend an awful lot of time thanking God and Craig for bringing this amazing woman into my life.
She sent me a message earlier tonight thanking me for making her load lighter. I wanted to weep. It’s she who lightens my load. Truly, she does.
I have other friends like her. You know who you are. I just wanted to take a moment out of my day to write about her as we ponder the death of Robin Williams and why it strikes so deeply for us. Perhaps it’s because you could always sense a sadness in him, even as he laughed. Perhaps it’s because we understand the depth of the pain he felt. Wanting to take your life is something I understand. Not been there recently, but I have been there. An attempt was made many, many, MANY years ago. Now? Now I try to surround myself with people who aren’t afraid of me and my ever-lovin’ mo-fo’ing pain. (I try not to talk about it non-stop, but they know and they support me.) Life is short, but it’s also too long to hang on to those who have no time to say an occasional prayer for you or who can send you good vibes.
My wish, for everyone, is that they have at least one friend who is there to remind them that they are loved. It’s not a cure for pain. It’s not a cure for depression. It’s not a cure for addiction. But it might just be the one thing that makes someone stop and think long enough to keep them from taking their own life.
Many people say (regarding Robin’s death), “oh, another addict died because he took his own life. A celebrity. And people will make a big deal about it because of his celebrity. They’ll cry like they knew him.” And that’s true. But here’s the thing, for some of us, Robin Williams was a part of our lives for more than 30 years. He made us forget our problems at times. He was the reason we sat in front of a TV with our families way back when. He drew parents and children together. United them in laughter. He was a part of our lives, doing what others failed to do. So his loss does leave us feeling like there’s a hole in our hearts. It’s okay for us to mourn him, just as we mourn anyone else. Not because he was a celebrity, but because he stood for something precious to us.
Robin, thank you for the laughter. Thank you for the tears. You were such a part of our lives for so many years, it’s as if you were part of our families. It hurts us that you’re gone. But we all hope you’ve found peace now. THANK YOU, Robin Williams. Thank you. You’ll always be in my memory as a man who had the world by the balls. I’m just sorry your hand cramped up.
Anthony Weiner is opening a restaurant in New York.
I…can’t…it’s just…It’s NOT a hot dog joint. There are no footlong anythings on the menu. And, it supposedly is to help people gain culinary and hospitality skills. Well, good. Except, it’s him. I can’t even with this man. How can we trust him to keep his hands to himself? Or, er…how can we trust him to NOT keep his hands on himself and also to not molest those seeking his assistance? Let’s just hope he’s only administrative (although, I question any organization that wants to have anything to do with him at all).
I played around with the jokes for a bit, but I simply cannot imagine anyone ever taking him seriously ever again and the jokes just keep rolling through my head.
I. must. resist.
Okay, you have the fodder. Make your own jokes. Thanks.
Not that we don’t celebrate cats each and every day here, but it’s nice to know other people celebrate, too.
International Cat Day is a thing, people. C’mon, do your part to make nice with the pussies of the world!
The FugGirls also have a slide show of the Tower of London.
What a beautiful tribute to the lives of those lost in war. The magnitude of the ocean of red is breath-taking and heartbreaking. Paul Cummins, the artist who came up with the idea, and Tom Piper, the stage designer who made sure it all worked out properly, did a beautiful job with this memorial. I honestly don’t know of any other memorial this amazing.
There were also one million poppies dropped as part of the World War I centenary remembrance ceremony.
One hundred years. We do not forget.
If we’re going to have to listen to Pharrell’s song “Happy” all the live-long day, please let it be because of this video. It’s the best!
Until someone comes up with something better, this is the only version I like. (Only valid entry that could possibly beat this one would have to include: Queen Elizabeth, Prince George, Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh), Prince Harry, Prince Wills and his lovely wife Dutchess Kate, adorable prancing puppies, frolicking foals, cavoriting kittens, maybe an albino hedgehog or two, and possibly Harry’s goat. They’d all have to be dancing, singing, playing, etc.
So, really, until any of you can make the above happen, I’m sticking with the nursing home version because it’s made of awesome genius.
Prince George is officially a year old today and I am absolutely taken with him. He’s exactly what the world needs in these times of celebrity babies with outrageous names and entitled parents. The darling prince’s parents are — yes, famous, clearly taking their roles as parents seriously and have managed to, despite being some of the most high-profile people in the world, keep his exposure to world at large (in other words, paparazzi and most prying eyes) at a minimum.
I have no doubt this cute tot will grow up to be well-adjusted and down-to-earth because his parents seem to want that for themselves and for him. I think they’re doing a great job of it so far.
Anyhow, because I love Prince George and because I love Queen Elizabeth (seriously, this woman seems like she’d be an absolute stitch to have tea with…like the perfect granny), I figured I’d link to one of my favorite slideshows comparing the two. All you have to do is slide the little widget on the right side of the photo to reveal Great Gran’s photo. Enjoy!
Happy birthday, you adorable boy! May all your princely wishes come true (especially the wish to be let down and run, and the wish to TOUCH EVERYTHING right this very second).
When I heard the news the other morning that Tony Gwynn had died, it felt like a little piece of all the goodness in the world was lost. Tony was truly one of the Good Guys. He was a talented ball player, that much everyone knows. But what they may not know is his amazing attitude wasn’t just for show; the man was simply a good-hearted man on and off the field. Instead of ending up in the newspaper embroiled in some scandal or for bad behavior, stories about him usually involved his kindness and generosity within his community.
At one point in my life, I lived practically around the corner and down the street from him. His home wasn’t surrounded by ten-foot-tall privacy walls or guarded by beefy security guys. No, he and his family were just another family in the neighborhood. My mom’s best friend at the time actually was one of his neighbors and she often remarked what a nice guy he was. No pretense. No “please don’t come over here, I’m famous…and therefore too busy to deal with you.” He’d wave. He’d offer to help you take your trash cans up your drive.
While other teammates were getting all sorts of press for refusing autographs unless you paid them or for swearing up a storm or throwing a temper tantrum (on field, off field, at nightclubs, at stores) or getting arrested for domestic violence, disturbing the peace, drunk driving, or drugs, Tony was smiling and laughing and doing things that made the world a better place. He remembered names; always took time to acknowledge friends, neighbors, fans, strangers; spent time helping a kid throw a ball properly; leading by example to teach others about the rewards of hard work and loyalty.
One of the best pieces I’ve read about Tony Gwynn was over on Deadspin by David Johnson. If you need a feel-good story for your day, this is the one. It also serves as a great reminder to each and every single one of us that being a decent human being isn’t just a concept, it’s something we should all endeavor to achieve.
Rest in peace, Tony Gwynn. Hope you got a comfy seat in the dugout!
Or is it Happy Fathers’ Day? Where does that apostrophe belong? Some say it’s “Father’s Day”, but while we do celebrate our father on that day, what about all the others? So many questions. And only one real answer that matters:
Wishing all a very happy Father’s Day – whether or not you’re male, the biological parent of the child, or even related to the kid — the fact is, you chose to give your heart and time and attention to someone who needed you and you deserve to be rewarded! Have a fantastic day!
Gardens of Stone sit in stillness
The lives of those buried here are mostly forgotten
They whisper to us, but rarely do we listen
And yet they speak volumes
In Gardens of Stone there reside
Those who served, at home and on the front
The wind scatters leaves and secrets
Speaking volumes of those who can no longer speak for themselves
In Gardens of Stone names are carefully etched
For family and friends to visit for a while
After many years, the visits taper off
Speaking volumes of our commitment to those who have died
In Gardens of Stone some of us wander
Searching for clues
Honoring the dead
Praying for their souls
In Gardens of Stone on this weekend
Everywhere you turn
You will see flags and flowers
Speaking volumes that we still care
In Gardens of Stone we pray
For those who continue the tradition
The sacred honor of protecting our way of life
We pray their service speaks volumes that war may
Someday be unnecessary
Until that time, we walk in Gardens of Stone
We gather to remember for those who cannot
For those who will not
Because the next to lie here will someday be just
Another name etched carefully in granite
In Gardens of Stone we are never alone
In Gardens of Stone we must continue
To pray and remember and learn
So that someday there may be smaller Gardens of Stone
For every name upon a stone that might ring familiar, there thousands more which we may not recognize nor find in any book. Their names, if we look long enough, become familiar to us, become part of our extended family. For they are the ones who secured our freedoms and allowed us the rights we enjoy today. The protesters on the street can do so because of these men and women. Those who cry out for freedom from religion (we’re guaranteed freedom of religion — to worship [or not] as we so choose) can do so because of these men and women. Those who demand this and demand that are able to do so because of these men and women. We can stand up and publicly deride our leaders because of these men and women. We are free to speak in English or any other language we chose because of those who lie in the Gardens of Stone.
Most will never have monuments. Most will never have books written about them. We can, however, take the time to remember, even if in general terms.
Memorial Day is not just about hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, the gatherings of friends and family, the drinks passed around the campfire. We’re free to do so, yes, but it is due to the sacrifices made by people whose names we’ll likely never know.
Please take a moment this weekend to give thanks to those who have served, to those who continue to serve, and honor them with a moment of silence. That’s the least we can do for them.
Friday was my blogiversary. #12. Today is my birthday. #48.
Yep. I should have really taken those bets years ago because I’ve outlived the naysayers and I’d be fucking RICH I TELL YOU!
But seriously, I have managed to make it over the camel’s hump of my 40s and can see my 50s clearly enough I don’t even need the bifocals to focus on ‘em.
Blogging? Well, let’s just say I’m nowhere near as prolific or outspoken as I once was, but I enjoy it — still — and will keep on blogging inanities until I don’t. That hasn’t happened yet, so all’s good for the time being.
My gifts, already, have been a beautiful card my mom painted: a delightful hummingbird. She didn’t even know the story about the hummingbird that flew right up in front of me while I was on the porch last week. The bird hovered there, slightly tilting its head, examining me for a few moments, and then off it went.
My other gift was a cuddle from the Fletchster. He crawled up on my lap a bit ago and gave me a sweet look, rubbed his cheek against mine, and meowed. He rarely meows.
I have no idea what the rest of the day holds, but whatever it is, I’ll be glad for it as I’m alive and kicking. I’m alive — which is good. If I don’t like what I get — I can kick whoever gave it to me. Ah, but seriously, folks…I’m happy to have made it this far in life and can’t get too upset about much because I’m still drawing breath. And that’s the greatest gift of all, ain’t it?