Snow day… page 190

Day 306 – 01/15/2021

We have blowing snow and cold temps this morning, which calls for biscuits & gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon & sausage, and a spa soak. Sometimes it’s good to be quarantined.

The information spigot is still gushing after the coup attempt, but with our anti-fascist forces, the true ANTIFA, on the J-O-B, my anxiety has taken a dip for now.

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Makes it easier to appreciate good stuff from my friend Steve…

FOUND IN COMMENTS: Fun nerd fact, the candy banana flavor we are all familiar with is based on the Gros Michel Banana. That was the original commercially available banana, which was nearly wiped out by a fungus in the 1950s. We then switched commercial bananas to the Cavendish which was resistant to the fungus and is now what everyone knows as the standard banana. Therefore, artificial banana flavor is based on a banana that almost no one born after 1958 has ever tasted.

As a 1947 baby, I must have known real bananas.

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Feeling funny… page 189

Day 305 – 01/14/2021

I’m in the mood for a humor infusion this morning, so thanks to my friend Patty for the material!

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HISTORY NOTE: The House of Representatives impeached Donald J. Trump yesterday, for the second time in his term, on charges of “incitement of insurrection” against the U.S. government and “lawless action at the Capitol.”

It’s a gray day, and a spa soak sounds exactly right.

 

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Forward… page 188

Photo Credit: Kim Smith 01/13/2021

Day 304 – 01/13/2021

There used to be a woman in my neighborhood who could be counted on to take a stand on all things political. She was annoying, eclectic in the causes she lobbied for, firmly ensconced in the party of her choice, and gave zero fucks whether anyone agreed with her or not. I have become that woman.

I really have no clue what’s coming next. Will Donald Trump’s assault on democracy be halted in time to salvage our way of life… or will his loyal army of MAGAs, Proud Boys, Boogaloo Boys, Qs, et.al., be allowed to repeatedly wreak havoc until it’s all in shambles?

Since I don’t know the answer, and I have no power to affect the outcome, I try to look away to cleanse the psychic landscape. Not easy to do when there’s nothing I can stand on daytime TV except news, and my brain still skitters off the page when I try to read. Twitter and Facebook convos center around current events, making the general chaos unavoidable there. And I bring it here to my diary on a daily basis because it’s what’s happening and little else, and the harsh reality of it never leaves my thoughts. Our loft has been my world for almost a year now, and it will go on that way until Kim and I are able to get vaccinated and the numbers in Douglas County stay negligible. Gets kinda same-same all up in here sometimes, making it a challenge not to grab the remote and see what’s happening… drop in on Facebook, see who’s saying what… join the Twitter choir lamenting the state of things. But I read an article this morning stating that older people are dealing with the pandemic and political woes better than other demographics because it ain’t our first rodeo. We’ve seen some things, we’ve gone through some things, we know we’ll go through more before we’re cut loose from here. Just the facts.

The loft across the hall is under renovation and they’re removing ceramic tile today with what sounds like jackhammers. My *ears* will be muted for the duration and Kim will have to communicate with me via sign language. Or simply SIGNS.

History Note: The process of impeaching Donald Trump for the second time is underway in the House.

So… computer games it is, then! Calgon, take me awaaaaaaay!!!

Sheltered behind those bricks on the left, Mama was still peacefully sleeping.

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I love sunshine… page 187

Day 303 – 01/12/2021

We have a sunny Tuesday morning in progress, with a high this afternoon in the low 50s, so Kim will be playing PickleBall after lunch. Happy day for him – he turns into a coil-spring when he can’t get out and move.

Not sure what I’ll end up doing today, but if I turn my head slightly to the left I can see several available options, just in my line of sight. Much time will undoubtedly be taken up with, or at least wrapped in, thoughts that never stop.

Six days after MAGA’s failed coup against democratic government, my outrage has only increased. The images, the stupidity, the deaths, the destruction, the total lack of comprehension of what makes us America, the entrenched idea that if you’re white in this country and you ever lose a single thing you BY GOD GET IT BACK IMMEDIATELY!

The terrorists’ representatives in Congress, whose own lives were on the line last Wednesday, are continuing the mantra: The GOP doesn’t lose elections unless we get something very wrong, so we’re saying something’s very wrong and we will reverse this outcome we don’t like, even if it costs us our way of life.

More MAGAs and Qs and general fuck-ups are threatening open assault on all 50 statehouses in the country, and plotting to disrupt Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris’s inauguration.

“Antifa” has also taken a shit in the hall…

And all of the above is sanctioned by a “man” who’s never been told no, never had to lose much that mattered to him, always had a parachute – ’til now. At this juncture, he seems willing to sacrifice everything in his frantic attempt to avoid being outed as a fraud, an abject idiot, a traitor to the United States of America, and a sociopath who has so far allowed almost 400,000 Americans to die on his watch..

What none of the above people comprehend is that on the profound moral questions in American politics — union vs treason, democracy vs autocracy — there is no middle ground. They’ve sacrificed truth for their cause and don’t seem to realize yet that they’re holding nothing but sawdust.

*fewer* points

The good news on a sunny morning is that Rita and I are both feeling better, starting to come up out of the odd haze that is apparently COVID-19. She’s a couple of days ahead of me so she’s been my beacon of hope for better days all along, and once I get past the weak and shaky stage and lose the cough, I’ll claim my win.

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“Well-intentioned suggestions”… page 186b

My friend Randy Mathews graciously said yes to my request to share a piece of his writing here. He says it all so well:

If you’re still a fervent supporter of our president after all that’s happened this week, you might be feeling a little heat right now. That’s understandable. But there are things you could do to help turn down the temperature. Here are a few well-intentioned suggestions:

1. Instead of promoting ridiculous assertions that there were radical leftist infiltrators from Antifa or BLM or the freaking Girl Scouts among that crowd who encouraged the violence and mayhem, try this instead: “Yes, those were loyal MAGA Trump supporters, and I don’t condone their actions.”

2. Rather than insisting Trump had nothing to do with the riots, and that he was trying his best to maintain order and civility, maybe listen to his rally speech one more time, watch the reaction of the crowd to what he said, and then follow them as they move, en masse, directly to the U.S. Capitol. Then ponder whether that constituted an obvious cause and effect – a clear call to action and an immediate response.

3. Instead of vehemently defending this awful man, how about conceding that he’s not especially truthful? He told the rally crowd to march up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, and said “I’ll be right there with you.” Of course he wasn’t right there with them. He sent them on their way, and then retired to the White House to watch the chaos he orchestrated play out on live TV.

He also lied yesterday, when he claimed he immediately deployed the National Guard to assist the besieged Capitol police. No, he didn’t. Everyone in the chain of command, and every person with direct knowledge of how things actually went down, has disputed that claim. The man is a pathological liar. Admitting that would go a long way.

4. Stop making excuses for the rioters. Stop calling them patriots and freedom fighters. Admit that what they did was dangerous, reckless and illegal. These people entered the U.S. Capitol illegally after forcing their way past uniformed police officers, damaged and destroyed federal property, threatened and assaulted officers who tried to stop them, desecrated the seat of our democracy by waving Confederate battle flags – a literal symbol of the most notorious attempt to overthrow the U.S. government in our nation’s history – ransacked offices, stole official correspondence and other documents, and even urinated on the carpet in a Congressman’s office. They were thugs, hoodlums and criminals. They were domestic terrorists. Conceding they weren’t there with good intentions would be a great start.

5. Reevaluate whether what happened on Wednesday was an isolated, spontaneous event or if it’s worth considering that it was actually the inevitable outcome of a president’s incendiary rhetoric. Then consider whether you are still so eager to throw your support behind someone like that. People died on Wednesday because your president incited an armed insurrection, a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress. Your president, sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, is absolutely culpable here. In fact, he arguably bears the lion’s share of the responsibility for what happened. Maybe it’s time to admit that he’s not really worth your loyalty or your devotion.

Just give these suggestions some thought. Those of us who have spent months if not years decrying Trump’s never-ending incendiary language, blatant lies and hateful personal attacks have worried things could eventually reach a boiling point. Wednesday’s horrible events were shocking, but they should not have been a surprise. And while there is support for censure, impeachment, and even invoking the 25th Amendment, it’s probable he’ll still be president until his successor Joe Biden is sworn in. It’s a frightening possibility that there could be more violence between now and then. No one really knows what Trump or all his angry, devoted followers are truly capable of.

Now is the time to reflect on your allegiance to this man, and to give serious consideration to whether you have cast your lot with someone who is not deserving of your support. We who all along have seen him for what he truly is will be waiting for you. But make no mistake – we’re not interested in meeting in the middle. In this case, things are pretty black and white. You either see that or you don’t.

Randy Mathews – 01/08/2021

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There’s still truth… page 186

Photo Credit: Kim Smith 01/10/2021

Day 302 – 01/11/2021

Took a news break for most of the weekend and that was a good decision – insurrection, sedition, and treason take time to process. It’s a lot to absorb and new information comes out every hour.

If people were angered by the street riots in 2020 and blamed it on everyone but the actual instigators of the violence… but those same people see the attempted coup at the Capitol as noble and right… then we come from two separate tribes. In which case it’s fine if we never run into each other again in this life – we don’t speak the same language. A friend shared this four years ago, and if I change Clinton to Biden it all still applies.

Qanon made their practice strikes against statehouses around the country with January 6th in mind, saw that they weren’t being stopped because they were 99% white male, and declared the coup on our Capitol a GO. It was very much an inside job, with maps and directions provided for finding hidden offices within the complex. Some carried zip-tie handcuffs and were calling for Mike Pence’s head as they burst through the doors. Nobody was arrested for the plot to kidnap and murder Michigan’s governor, so hey, carte blanche! Let’s do what we came here to do! People died that day, including a young policeman who was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher. Another was beaten with an American flag… and a third was thrown over a railing in the Capitol. How’s that Blue Lives Matter thing workin’, I wonder. Democracy didn’t die, not that day, not any day soon because America fought back, but we’ll have to keep doing that – the terrorists are plotting additional attacks for the 17th and the 20th and beyond. Anybody awake yet?

The war is far from over but people more interested in immunity are already pushing for unity. You don’t make common cause with traitors, sorry.

These are not the heroes we’ve been waiting for, these misguided, low-information, absurdly outfitted white men who smeared feces in the Capitol hallways, urinated on carpets, and tore hell out of everything they could get their hands on. They aren’t brave, they aren’t abused, and they aren’t right. They’re just white. And the world has always belonged to them, damn it, and they’ve had all they want of this equality idea, so women and children stand back! Their leader could tell them anything at this point and they’d charge forward again. They’re a dangerous mob looking for direction.

Important note to self on a Monday morning:

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The weekend… page 185

Day 300 – 01/09/2021

Misty Saturday morning. Saw a runners’ group go down the street earlier and a few stragglers are still loping past on their way back west. Almost inspired me to reach over and close the blinds.

For an hour or so last night I felt like me again and then the rollercoaster fired up and disabused me of that optimism, and this morning I’m ready for a nap after all the coughing. An RN I checked with, who’s been treating and testing for coronavirus all year, said this:

I’m afraid they didn’t test you properly. If it’s done correctly, you’ll know it’s been done. It hurts, causes your eyes to water and occasionally causes bleeding. Unfortunately, we’re seeing a lot of instances where people are “tested“ and come up negative, then start showing severe symptoms and turn up positive later – after exposing people for days. Personnel need to learn how to test correctly: the Q-tip is to go well up into the nasal cavity and has to be maneuvered around for a bit. The fact that you didn’t feel it tells me that it wasn’t done correctly, and I would assume, as should you, that you are positive until further notice. I’m out of patience with people who do not test correctly – they’re putting other people at extreme risk. Tell everyone you know that if it doesn’t hurt when they’re tested, it wasn’t done correctly. It should hurt, and you should cry tears.

It’s a moot point, there’s nothing to do for non-respiratory COVID but rest, hydrate, and wait it out, and I’m not interested in the uproar of getting a real test just to verify its existence in my system. Someday baby sistah and I will both feel like real people again. Or Kim can hang a tag on my urn that says I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK.

I just realized I can smell the potatoes Kim’s cooking for breakfast!

We just ate that breakfast and I could taste every bite for the first time in weeks – the potatoes, the eggs, the bacon, the coffee.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

Miss Emily Dickinson

Maybe I’ll try to table all the outer turmoil for the weekend. Maybe I’ll sit here inside myself and focus on health and wellbeing. Couldn’t hurt.

This guy’s story doesn’t cause turmoil for me. I nominate him for the 2021 Darwin Award.

Poor lil’ wannabe dicktaser.

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Addendum… page 184b

Photo Credit: Kim Smith 01/2021

From my dear friend Philip Grecian on the disintegrating loyalty to Donald Trump among the ranks:

“Yes, Pence filled in where Trump wouldn’t…making decisions (it was Pence who called in the National Guard) and issuing orders. This does not mean that he would make a good president one day. It simply means that he did what a reasonably sane person with a position of authority would do under the circumstances.

“It appears now that this is the end of Trumpism. Thank heaven. Oh, there will be hangers-on who sit outside in their trailer parks drinking Budweiser and raging about the gummint… but we’ve always had them. For a brief, horrible, five years or so, they had some power and made our lives hell. There will always be people who make our lives hell. Until the day we die and it no longer matters. But these people are quickly losing their national influence. We’ll be dealing with them awhile longer… and we may be hearing from them again in 2024. But for now they’ve been weakened… For now, even many of their supporters have seen who they really are. For now, they will be fragmented. We can help the process by seeing to it that the Cruzes and Giulianis and Millers… and Trumps… are never again in a position to try to bring the country down. And then wait for the next monster to come slouching toward Bethlehem.”

I hope Phil’s right. But the venom hasn’t drained out of this crowd yet and they’re wallowing in the mud of their loss, halted mid-tantrum with no place to go. Thinking, feeling human beings want this over with. Done. But never forgotten, ever, or America will head right back to kakistocracy because it’s the path of least resistance – you don’t even have to think, and after a while you apparently don’t feel much of anything, either.

And now Congress is adjourned until after the inauguration, so who’s watching the baby while they’re away? Dozens of legislators called for Donald Trump’s immediate removal from office… and then went home. Somebody has to be the GOAT who gets him out of our house before he kills us all. If the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution isn’t utilized to accomplish that, then it’s just taking up space in a musty old document and might as well be jettisoned because unless we’re idiots the country will never reach the point of needing it again. OMG, what am I saying… ? Yeah. Better keep it.

And now it’s time to use it.

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Insurrection… page 184

Day 298 – 01/07/2021

My overriding emotion this morning on awakening to the reality of yesterday’s chaos is one of sadness – the inconceivable has happened in our nation’s Capitol and life in the United States is broken. Those who know Donald Trump told us in 2016 that the story would end this way – and the one prediction yet to manifest itself is that he will trigger a thermonuclear device on his way out the door. Anybody know where those codes are?

Reports say four people died in yesterday’s terrorist attack on our Capitol, same number as when Benghazi happened – there will be endless probes, hearings, and recriminations, right? Lumpy will sit for eleven straight hours of testimony before this is over, right? Justice will prevail after the great unwashed stormed the barricades, scaled the walls, shattered historic windows, smeared blood on statuary, urinated liberally everywhere, ripped nameplates off the walls, sat in personal offices and at the dais of the Senate with their feet up, taking photos of paperwork, walking away with items, fomenting insurrection with every act, right? Justice will prevail. I guess the Capitol police and reinforcements were saving their rubber bullets and tear gas in case any Black people showed up – in fact, had this event had a color key the Black version would have looked like this:

For the people inside, the roar of the mob came first, then the sounds of doors and windows being breached. A few highlights of the day:

How it started… with Chamber assistants bringing the Electoral College ballot boxes. Staff had the presence of mind to grab the boxes when the mob broke through.
Teach… your children well.
Just an ordinary Wednesday in America. Little troll behind Wolfman Jack has already been fired. Wore his work badge to the riot.
Dropping in…
That’s a big hammer, son, whatcha’ got in mind??
History smashed.
How’s your aim, senators?
Close your eyes for naptime, kids, it’ll be over soon.
Democratic representatives comfort each other.
Arrest this asshole.
And this one.
I also saw confederate flags yesterday – explain that, America.
America has lost the plot.
If these are your heroes, unfriend me, unfollow me, block me out of your life – I don’t know you.

On another note, remember COVID? Almost 4,000 people died in this country yesterday as a result of it. My test came back negative, but since I still feel like dog shit and have all the symptoms of the virus I’m gonna stay right here ’til morale improves. Sense of smell and taste are gone and the sweats and body aches are like a rollercoaster ride. Maybe the swab has to actually tickle your brain in order to get the goods, who knows? It’s a plus if I don’t have it, especially for Kim since there’s no way not to expose him – in which case, this feels like something that needs its own vaccine.

But that was a bridge too far for survivalists.

Meanwhile, the Flight Attendants’ Union says their employees will not staff planes on which the terrorists from the unmasked superspreader try to fly home. Good luck on the DC streets, MFs.

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Got ‘er done… page 183

Day 295 – 01/04/2021

Welp, I’ve been ‘rona tested – took a little over an hour this morning and was no biggie – clearly it matters who sticks a big Q-tip up your nose and how, because I barely felt it. Kim was tested before a recent procedure and he didn’t feel it either. And now we wait… and keep doing exactly what we’ve been doing for ten months.

Felt a little odd to be able to drive up and take my turn for something most healthcare people in the country have never received and that’s a coronavirus test. Hospitals don’t have a comfortable supply of tests, so their nurses go without, and most have yet to receive their first vaccination. Don’t let anybody kid you, Donald Trump has broken the United States, just as he set out to do, and right & wrong have been crushed to bits.

Kim picked up Rita’s grocery order this morning and left it on her porch, so he’s out there on behalf of the sisters, thank goodness. Remains to be seen what this is, but I feel like crap. However, since that’s nothing new for this fibro-wracked body, it could be anything. Or nothing. Might try to sleep for a while…

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Limbo come, limbo go… page 182

Day 294 – 01/03/2021

Our New Year’s Day snow provided an apropos setting for mentally processing… everything. Totally calm outside, no footprints for hours, life muffled and still, so I nestled in my chair like Lady Buddha and let everything roll around in my head. Still working on it.

Yeah, so the bullet dodged WASn’t, but so far so good. Funny story – you stay inside for nine months to avoid COVID-19, seeing a total of one other person during that time on any sort of basis, so you think it might be okay to spend a few hours with them on Christmas morning and somebody ends up sick. Makes no sense, but it does reinforce to me how insidious this virus is and how opportunistic. If you’re where it is, you’re a potential host – it goes where we take it. So sis, who doesn’t have the luxury of a Kim and has had to be out there from the start in all the ways, got a positive test result, and I’d planned to get tested today but the line is currently four hours long, so maybe first thing in the morning.

Meanwhile, I’m hanging out like the perennial lump I’ve become and life won’t change for me if I test positive except to make sure I’m not doing any heavy breathing in Kim’s space. As long as he stays well, Rita recovers completely, and my system does its thing, it’s another experience on the way to the next one. And speaking of experiences… let’s pretend this one never happened, by which I mean last year.

I’m reading a book by that title… Let’s Pretend This Never Happened! by Jenny Lawson… and it’s laugh-out-loud funny. Excellent therapy. On we go, the year awaits…

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New Year’s Day 2021… page 181

Day 292 – 01/01/2021

We woke up to fat snowflakes this morning and neighborhood flaws are being covered over hour by hour while I watch from my windows. Perfect way to observe a fresh start when everybody needs that more than anything, and now a little light is filtering through and making the snow look like fondant.

Our neighbors’ balcony

Kim says if he had more chutzpah than good sense he’d go down to the river and take pictures, but since we both know how that stacks up, he’s still here by the fire. Across the street, though, the little 3-year-old is out with his daddy, shoveling porches and sidewalks like a boss.

Our New Year’s Not-Rockin’ Eve was sweetly chill. Kim made Tortellini Bisque and garlic bread, we toasted to endings and beginnings, stayed up past midnight to escort 2020 out the door, shook the dust off our psyches, and burrowed our way into blessed sleep. We celebrated this morning with the Saturday breakfast on Friday, which will mean Sunday breakfast on Saturday, and a waffled-up Sunday morning. These rebel hearts will never be tamed…

Photo Credits: Kim Smith 01/01/2021

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