A Sundry Assortment of I has been BUSY!

Well, this is certainly interesting. I’ll kick off this sundry assortment with a diversion. Oh, look a bird!

Grammarly, not Grammarly.

Grammarly offers a free writing assistant, a plug-in, that checks basic spelling, punctuation, and grammar as you write.  Given that my writing is given to breaking the rules, Grammarly also offers to clue me into my advanced yellow mistakes for $139.95/year.  On a per-word benefit and an average of $11.66/month, this is probably a pretty good deal.

Oh, but what Grammarly doesn’t know. Style. Mine. Well, maybe.

My Freshman English professor had no problem with broken rules as long as they were asterisked on paper.  I’d asterisk the incomplete sentences. Well, they weren’t sentences really. Phrases missing a noun. Or a verb.* And I’d asterisk sentences that kicked off with a connector.*  And truth be told, although I could use a refresher on the rules, it seems like self-abuse to pay Grammarly to correct my “style”.*

Well, maybe.

Today, Grammarly suggested that the title of “I’ve been BUSY!” should be corrected to “I has been BUSY!” and I’m given to pause and consider. It would seem Grammarly has style of the “I haz cheeseburger” variety. I could get behind that. Maybe I should invest in the advanced Grammarly checker.

And while constructing the above, Grammarly reverted to “I’ve been BUSY!” as the correct form which we knew all along. We were entertained by Grammarly’s flair which was fleeting. Back to asterisks and yellow.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Anews privilege.

By “anews” privilege, I’m using ‘a’ in the ‘not’ form.  Atypical is not typical like atheist is not a theist.

I missed blogging last week. Wholly immersed in things other, I traipsed and tripped through my daily adventures and didn’t really catch up on all the news that’s fit to holler until the end of the week.

The current events going on in our struggle toward a more perfect union are overwhelming — Russian influence in social media, the Mueller investigation, civil rights assaults, the Dreamer debacle, the Prescedense and the Porn Star¹ … it’s a long list.

And my life, my movements, my actions were not impacted one whit.

And that is privilege.

A rumination on Pi Day, (03.14).²

Pi (Π). Pi describes the circle, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, ≅ 3.14.

But pi’s true superpower is in getting us out of the clock-time domain and into frequency. And the frequency domain is where the magic happens.

Think of Alice through the looking glass. Pi opens a door labeled ‘Fourier Transforms’ and all the convoluted filtering functions perk up their ears and run like multiplied gazelles. Because they are.

And thanks to Pi, a mathematical constant, we have telecommunications. Just think of it.  I can throw a text up and into the air and down it falls on the phone of my friend sitting right next to me.

Like magic. And no one else saw our lips move.

Just a whisper.

Wow.


But Pi doesn’t wait for anybody.

I’m not sure what that last statement means but I feel it to be true. Intuition. Pi is constant and a constant.  Whether or not you find the value in pi, pi doesn’t care.

And as someone totally agog at the capability of technology, it is good to step away from Pi. From technology.

Eat some real pie.

In Men in Black II, the Young Agent K : “Pie don’t work unless you let it.”

And here is my shout out to CaityPies in Nashville, Tennessee.

Mmmmm, try pie. It doesn’t wait for anybody.

RIP, Stephen Hawking (1942.01.08 – 2018.03.14)

I miss knowing that someone so brilliant and so funny as Stephen Hawking is not with us anymore.

I need to read his books and I need to watch the movie, The Theory of Everything.

He also predicted the end of the universe recently. Thankfully on a time scale that doesn’t look to scale to us humans. We don’t need to mark our calendars. Next week is secure and scientific notation will be required to describe the time to reach zero energy.

But what if the approach to zero energy happens like the big bang?

So many questions. After the real scientists review his paper, I need to investigate. What if we drop to zero in the amount of time it took to blast it all apart into the free-wheeling solar systems and galaxies we currently enjoy? And if the stars run out of energy, whut? What about entropy? Enthalpy? Where will that energy go? Conservation. Conservation of energy.

And I remember how confused I was in Thermodynamics. Oh dear.

Stay tuned.

Or not.

Strange Bedfellows

Oh the glory of the diametrically opposed yet bedfellows!

For your consideration:

Dr. Willie Parker & Satanists

Dr. Willie Parker is an evangelical Christian who defends abortion.

And so do Satanists.

Diametrically opposed on religious beliefs. Bedfellows in women’s rights and agency over her own body.

NRA & GOP/Trump Administration

The NRA uses the 2nd amendment to defend gun ownership – “being necessary to the security of a free state.”

And the GOP & Trump are all about those guns too!

Bedfellows on gun ownership, if ever there was an administration tending towards dictatorship and a non-free state possibly requiring citizen intervention, it is this one!

Go figure.


¹ Yes, I’m capitalizing ‘Porn Star.’ If Stormy Daniels gets Prescedense OTUS out of the office, she deserves all the capitals.

² This is for the maths. And I may not have all the words right, but the poetry is there.

 

A Sundry Assortment: It’s drafty in here.

Ah so! Here I am circling up to my first year of Viva blogging and Happy Birthday! Or something-something and given the events of the last three weeks — I mean, doesn’t the SOTU address when the Prescedense Shouts Out to Us All, already seem a lifetime ago? — I am woefully behind.

My DRAFTS folder is full of shits and farts fits and starts. In remembrance celebration of a year spent on the crate of holler-into-the-void, I’m cleaning out my DRAFTS over-sharing.  Where is, as is. Enjoy! Or not.

From December 2017

I was particularly taken by the senate race between Doug Jones (D) and Roy Moore (R) in Alabama. Even though Roy Moore dropped loads of turds in his basket of deplorable behavior, the GOP backed his run. 

White Women in Alabama

Well, how’s this for news? 63% of white women who voted in Alabama voted for Roy Moore.

I feel their fear.  It’s palpable. It’s contagious.  After all, who wants to upset the status quo? “I feel more comfortable with my future in the hands of a Republican, no matter how bad he is.” Hmmm, instead of “hands of a Republican” substitute “Roy Moore”, and substitute “my daughter” or “my granddaughter”, for “my future” and the statement becomes “I feel more comfortable with my daughter in the hands of Roy Moore, no matter how bad he is.”

I fear their fear.

And they claim they fear abortion. I fear for them that the Roy Moore’s of this world make abortion for unwanted and unplanned pregnancies due to rape necessary.

But I reject their worldview. And that’s part of their fear. The fear of rejection. The fear that when all is said and done, they won’t have a horse to ride in on. And they don’t. It was not a horse. It was an ass. An old racist ass.

When did they learn to hate themselves?

Madeleine Albright: “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

GOP: RIP; RIP: GOP

Roy Moore? Really? He was the best the GOP could pull from the swamp to represent Alabama in the Senate?

GOP: RIP Mitch McConnell

So Mitch McConnell sat on Merrick Garland’s confirmation as a Supreme Court Justice for 10 months. It was about a principle and not about a person.

Well, I’ll bite.  It was about a person. Barack Obama. President Obama nominated Merrick Garland. See also, Mitch McConnell is a pro-civil rights racist.

And now? The current Prescedense federal judge nominees can’t answer basic legal questions.

And I’m not opposed to a federal judge with a federal election committee background, but from the video, it looks like Matthew Spencer Petersen would be getting lots of on-the-job training.

Just like Jared and Ivanka. Oh well.

And I’m smdh.

Black women in Alabama

Oh man. All glory, laud and honor.

On Tuesday in Alabama, black women voters got out the vote and voted in their best interests for Doug Jones delivering a dose of smite² onto Roy Moore. I want to say ‘healthy dose of smite’ but the margin of victory was still within 2 percentage points.

¹ The noun becomes a verb.

² The verb becomes a noun.

Black women elsewhere

Meanwhile, in the nation’s capital, Karen Bass (D-California, 37th district) continues to punch in the mouth challenge administration officials — here, the FBI Director — on the fictional historical black identity extremists identified in a report issued by a ghost at the FBI to law enforcement agencies around the country. “The harm that document is causing.” Continued praise.

Just for the record, if black women could round up Millenials and form a viable party, I could get behind that.

Paul Ryan

Since this ‘Paul Ryan’ snippet was written, Robert Mueller has indicted Russians, Russian companies, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates. This observation holds true.

Well if ever there was a reason for Robert Mueller to stop the investigation of Russia involvement in business conducted from the Oval Office election meddling it is the US Presidential order of succession chart. 

But that’s just choosing to keep the Prescedense of incompetent evil over a President practiced in evil exercised and honed. Oh well.

And given that Paul Ryan is 2nd in line, reports of his stepping down after the 2018 elections are in my opinion, wildly optimistic. If the Russian investigation removes Trump and Pence from office, Paul Ryan will be #46.  Sit with that for a moment. Breathe.

He is a big fan of the writer Ayn Rand giving everyone in his office copies of Atlas Shrugged for book discussion. But I prefer to consider Paul Ryan in light of The Fountainhead, for many reasons. Primary is that it is the only epic brick weighty tome Rand wrote that I ever read.

Consider the definition of fountainhead (noun): An original source of something. 

Howard Roark, the protagonist of The Fountainhead, is an architect with a singular vision, the source of a building blueprint so good, so perfect, that it has to be built his way or no way. He works outside educational institutions, outside of the mainstream. He is his own man loosely and accurately based on Frank Lloyd Wright.

And plot: Howard has a vision so pure, so right for the construction of an apartment building that he is unwilling to modify his design one iota. He would rather his building be blown up than built. At Fountainhead’s end, Howard Roark is sitting on the pile of rubble of his own design, his own making, that he didn’t purchase and he didn’t pay for. He’ll make rubble of it all because he can’t compromise.

And so I submit Paul Ryan for the real-life role of Howard Roark, an uncompromising architect to oversee the rubble of the US economy.

Explain to me how Medicare and Medicaid trickle down. How do roads get built? Infrastructure created and maintained? A healthy populace? Children educated? It’s a long list.

Paul Ryan, a lifelong hypocrite. Benefitted by birth with white male privilege, he wants to remove the social safety net for everyone else.

From October 2017

Different seats

When I picked the tagline “Honey, I’m a real live writer …”, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to report on the action from my bleacher seats.  Things and stuffs happen so fast. In the last week:

  • An attack on a concert crowd in Las Vegas with a weapon of mass destruction raining down from on-high killed 59, injured more than 500.
  • The Prescedense OTUS pitched paper towels to Puerto Ricans as if they need to merely wipe up a coffee spill after hurricane devastation.
  • Although early reports of his death were exaggerated maybe even greatly, Tom Petty died. In the process, social and non-social media fell all over themselves in the quest to be the first to report. There is no shame.

And the year in DRAFTS is littered with post-it notes — titles, phrases, links strung together with a nod, a tilt of the head toward an idea. Perhaps they’ll spark a complete thought eventually. Where is, as is they are unreadable.

I’ll end this clearing session with some love for OWGs.

OWG

Old White Guys.  I saw a pic of Jim Sensenbrenner and someone asked: “What can I say?” And all I could think of was “Old White Guy like these OWGs?

And this is hard.  Most, if not all of the OWGs I know, actually want to change the world for the better for people who are not OWGs. Which is sweet.

I attended a meeting of feminists on campus in the early 1980’s. I left with the feeling that in order to participate, I would need to get angry and stay angry and sever relations with 80% of my family and I actually love and even like a couple of them.  That just didn’t seem right.

So what are we left with?  How do we distinguish good OWGs from the bad?

And then this year I  discovered that the divisions between us, between US citizens struggling a more perfect union, is more complex than individual age, color, sex, etc.

I look in the mirror and whaddaya know? 53% of OWLs (Old White Ladies, yes, this is a bit pejorative) are not so sweet either.

OWLs. Profiling.

RRiP GOP

RRiP GOP.

With the uptick in opinion pieces that lament the reasons and results of the last Presidential election, I would like to show you the root of a weed I pulled:

In other words: Schultz lost her job but kept her party; Reince Priebus kept his job but let a hostile takeover happen on his watch.“¹

– July 2016, Ross Douthat, a conservative opinion writer in the NYTimes

And so in review, Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as DNC chairperson to clear the Democrat Party nomination for … wait for it … Hillary Clinton … who then proceeded to …

Lose.

Meanwhile over in the GOP, RRiP (Reince Richard Priebus) in a great show of leadership yanked proceeded to allow any and all nominees to run unchecked by any GOP standard of conduct or behavior.

I guess that assumes that the GOP had a standard of conduct. But  what am I thinking?This circle of hell includes Their standard of conduct allows for the celebration of passing soulless² legislation with beer and  golf cart rides around the White House Rose Garden. Ah! There it is. The standard of behavior. The Prescedense frequently rides around in golf carts too. Oh well.

And RRiP worked as the Teflon Cheetos’ Chief of Staff for all of 7 months! There was a job for RRiP beyond and out of the Republican National Committee. Hmmm.  Oh well. The deed was done. The moral death of the GOP started pre-Priebus³, but he delivered a fatal blow in the form of Prescedense Trump.

As such, I offer my “thoughts and prayers” for the survival of the democracy. Possibly the world.

RRiP GOP.


¹Douthat, Ross. “The Normal Party”. The New York Times. 16 July 2016. Web. 1 December 2017.

² If you can think of a stronger descriptor than ‘soulless’ that doesn’t use expletives, please let me know.

Asking for a friend.

³ The moral death and decay of the Democratic Party also started pre-Priebus. IMO, some of the rules for governing in our democracy have not kept pace with technological advances in many fields.  That topic is for another time. Another post.

Prince (1958.06.07 — 2016.04.21)

We’re approaching the one year anniversary of Prince’s death. If I were to put words to the deep-seated, visceral missing of Prince I feel, it would be knowing he isn’t around to contribute new music, find the next edge, push limits, find the next symbol of life, love, music, stand down the corporate music bullies, offer up musical reflections of ourselves as seen through his lens, etc.

From my bleacher seat watching Prince’s life and career, I will indulge in some reflection and celebration:

A housemate in college took the black-and-white photo – the Viva picture – with film* that when developed resolved into black-and-white only. No gray. So in this black-and-white period of my life, she invited me to join her for a concert at First Avenue in Minneapolis for a performance by Prince. I declined. I had a big exam the next day. And I can tell you 35 years later that I don’t remember what was on the test, the subject matter, the class, or even how well I did or didn’t do on either the test or in the class; what I can tell you is I missed out on the opportunity of seeing Prince in his early Purple Rain days. I thought there would be better, more appropriate nights to go to First Avenue and a real live Prince dance party. Regrets? I’ve had a few.

Sundays on the drive to church, 88Nine radio holds a Prince dance party at around 8:15 AM. This last week they played “Hot Thing” and I smiled and I might have sped up a little.

A former co-worker reported that his son was roped in with a group to attend a private concert given by Prince at Paisley Park in the fall of 2015. After playing for hours, Prince cooked and fed them all. Whoa! If there is a heaven, I would like to be a sous chef for Prince.  I would even let him know that I could sing a wicked backup that is if “wicked” means “not very good.” Oh do sing, Viva, sing!  Hot Thing indeed  <smile>.

My favorite cover of a Prince tune is “Raspberry Beret” by the Hindu Love Gods.  It also makes me smile. Warren Z. growling out a smooth tune.   And Hindu Love Gods = REM + Warren Zevon — Michael Stipe

Finally, “ … from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks … “, Prince, lyrics from the song Love, album 3121, or! you can read the Bible, Luke 6:45. Pick your cite. I can sing along to the first.

Love — this lyric in particular is a reminder that what comes out of your mouth is a direct reflection of what is in your heart.
And I can choose from the abundance in my heart to speak from my heart.
Or I can shut up.  It is a choice.  Reflect what you will.

*Film.  Film is  a throwback to pre-digital camera technology. It is a type of tape passed by a camera and lens to capture light. Film required processing in “dark rooms” well-outfitted with trays of chemicals, special lights, oh, it was magical and complicated. Film is a throwback which will likely have a resurgence not unlike vinyl record albums. (See also Kodachrome.)

RIP Bill Paxton (1955.05.17 — 2017.02.25)

My all time favorite Bill Paxton role was in “True Lies” as Simon, the used car salesman. A favorite scene was at the edge of a dam where Simon:Bill is threatened by Harry:Schwarzenegger.   Pleading for his life Simon cries “I’m navelent.”

Navelent. I thought I knew most of the ‘lent’ words* — benevolent, violent, malevolent, equivalent, ambivalent.  Just what is ‘navelent’?  And such a big word for Simon seemed out of character.

No.  Not navelent.  With a second viewing, my hearing “I’m navelent” resolved itself into “I’m navel lint.”  Navel lint.

And on Bill’s passing, all I can say is, me too, Bill.  Me, too.
———-

* A quick check of the Scrabble word finder tells me I’m a ‘lent’ words neophyte. http://www.wordfind.com/contains/lent/