Saturday, December 29, 2018

Not What We Bargained For

Another snow storm yesterday and it is 1ยบ F this morning! It's warmer back in Connecticut! Spent a few hours digging out ourselves and our neighbors yesterday.

We're expecting to remain below freezing until Friday and perhaps more snow Monday and Tuesday.

Leon used to brag that the snow here would melt by the time he finished a cup of coffee...he's going  to be drinking lots of coffee, so we had better start brewing...

This Morning - 12-29-18

Icicles, Popsicles, 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

" 'Twas The Day After Christmas"

'Twas two days before Christmas when here in our town
The sun was a-shining and the earth was so brown
The temperatures soared to at least fifty-five 
So we got in the car and went for a drive
To Santa Fe Plaza, Zafarano and KMart
Where last minute gifts were tossed into the cart

Then the night before Christmas the town was all lit
With colorful lights that twinkled a bit
We drove around town to see the display
In our car - no horse, no open sleigh
Back home within minutes, our town is so small
We wished Merry Christmas to all

But the day after Christmas we got a surprise
The white stuff was falling just after sunrise
It coated the ground then piled up high
So heavy and thick, it blocked out the sky
The dog was excited to see the new snow
He waited for me, a snowball to throw

We had fun like we did when we lived in the east
Walking through snow, just me and the beast
It occurred to me then, that a person of snow
In our front yard would make a good show
Three balls of snow, a carrot, a hat
The silly snow sculpture appeared, just like that

Then by the fire, we wished friends all good cheer
The day after Christmas and... 
Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Needing a Hearing Aide? or Recently on Netflix

Let me begin by saying that I'm likely to be a good candidate for some kind of hearing aide soon. I've noticed a problem, especially when watching certain TV programs.

Voices range from easily understandable to impossible to decipher. Usually I get a few words, then miss the four or five words that would convey the meaning of the sentence, come-back or joke. Some womens' voices are most difficult, perhaps because of the high pitch. Increasing the volume doesn't always help.

Among the impossible to understand are Megan Mulally on Will and Grace, Melissa Rauch on Big Bang Theory, and Minnie Driver on Speechless. I'm also having trouble with Modern Family and New Amsterdam (with the irritating background music/noise). Most of the time I just give up, turn to my computer for entertainment while Leon watches the shows (which we record on TiVo so we can skip all the commercials and watch a 30-minute show in 20).

When English, Scottish, Australian or similar accents are involved, (Minnie Driver among others) it is so much more difficult to understand. (See recent review of Deep Water - a great drama but I had to have closed captions on in order to follow the story).

So last evening we watched Outlaw King on Netflix.

High marks as far as spectacular scenery, cast of thousands, period costumes, Medieval castles, ariel views of the English and Scottish countryside, and bloody battles.

Otherwise I found the story difficult to follow, 1) because it was difficult to understand the actors' speech and 2) I couldn't always figure out who were the English, who were the Scots on the side of Robert the Bruce and which ones were his rivals; or who was fighting whom.

I wondered how the Scots and the English distinguished who to impale with a sword in the chaos of battle. I also wondered how they filmed the many horses going down, hopefully without harming a single one. Unless you are a great fan of Medieval English/Scottish history, this one may not be worth spending two hours watching - not even for the few seconds of Chris Pine naked.

We got through it. Leon did not give it great reviews either.

In the total opposite direction is Kominsky Method, a Netflix series starring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin. It is smart, warm, funny and entertaining. Someone called it Frankie and Grace for guys.

Episode 2 is precious, especially the funeral scene.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of the series. Recommended.

Monday, November 19, 2018

A Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Anyone who knows me, knows that Christmas is not my favorite holiday...for reasons I won't go into.

But we usually do a little holiday decoration here and there: lights mostly, some greens, a ceramic tree that Leon's had for ages, a couple of stockings by the fireplace and a little one-piece sculpted nativity scene.

I heard that anyone with a saw and $10 could get a permit to cut a tree in the National Forest here in New Mexico.

So, in an effort to do my part in the monumental job of forest management, I decided that we (Leon and I and two of our friends) should go on a tree hunting expedition. I wasn't in it so much for the tree as for the day out and a little adventure.
One of our friends slipping and sliding
When we stopped at the ranger station to get our permit, I paid our $10, got a map and informed the clerk/ranger that I had, unfortunately, forgotten to bring along a rake (like in Finland?). She smiled and said, no problem.

So we were off into the Pecos woods in the Ford pickup, through snow and mud (sorry for all that mud on your truck, Leon), in search of a worthy tree.
The pines are nice, but way too big, and not right for a Christmas tree.

One of our friends trekking through snow.
Maybe we didn't drive far enough up the mountain because the trees were not really great specimens for   holiday decorating. Plenty of pines but nothing like a Douglas Fir or spruce. Not sure what type of evergreen we were finding but here is what we got. (I probably wouldn't have paid $10 for it at the corner gas station, but the getting it was worth the price).
Our "Charlie Brown" Tree
This wasn't the first for us: see here, and here.

Got a Pic of a Trio of Deer on Our Way Out
It will go out in the courtyard for the season. I'm not sure if it is even strong enough to hold a string of lights.

Well, it's not the Rockefeller Plaza tree, but it was a fun day out and we all stopped for a late lunch on the way home. Just enjoyed the ride and the company. And, well, forest management, you know.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Another Shooting



Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Two Netflix Choices - Not Exactly "Popcorn" Worthy, But Worth Watching

Need some relief from politics and not looking forward to all the Black Friday advertising? Try a couple of Netflix documentaries. Not ones I'd pop corn for...but be my guest and go for the popcorn if you like. Enjoy!

Packed In A Trunk - The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkenson

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Worse Everyday: Pence's "christian rabbi’ Ignores Shooting Victims to Pray for Republicans

With all due respect for the victims of anti-Semitic violence in Pittsburg, their families, their loved ones and the entire community, I post this entry:

I watch the news every day and I am generally expecting, (and my expectations are always met),  more outrageous news from the current administration.

All the blogs I read are commenting on the news, expounding on the outrageousness and stupidity and dangers and illegalities, and atrocities of the administration and its supporters.

So I have pretty much given up blogging about it myself, as others do a good job and, well, who reads this blog anyhow?

But every once in a while there is a story that really gets under my skin. This is one of them:

Link: Article on Pence's "Christian Rabbi"   (Be sure to read the Twitter comments in the article)

and here: LGBT Nation

Who knew there were "christian rabbis" trying to convert Jews?

And that one would be invited pray for republican candidates days after the shooting at the Synagogue in Pittsburg, rather than pray for the dead?

The height of insensitivity gets higher every day with this arrogant, ignorant, self-serving administration. Hubris beyond the definition of hubris.

I fear Pence (who is calculating and fanatic, if not outright evil) is inherantly more dangerous than our president (who is merely a stupid, arrogant, narcissistic puppet).

Sunday, October 28, 2018

I Guess This Is A Bright Spot In The Week's News

Matthew Shepard's ashes were interred this week at the National Episcopal Cathedral.

A bright spot because the interment is not only fitting and respectful, but it also serves as a strong message to all fundamentalist christians that they do not speak for all people of faith. Especially in view of the fact that Matthew's parents legitimately feared that any grave or memorial site would very likely be vandalized.

That is a sad commentary on the state of our world.

Over the past twenty years we LGBT folks have seen so much progress: we've won Supreme Court victories, we've gotten marriage equality, we've had LGBT celebrities come out, we see sympathetic, multi-dimensional and mainstream LGBT characters on TV and in movies. We've gotten the sense that we've arrived, that we are not only tolerated, but accepted and even admired; that the world we live in has become safer and more enlightened and that our country's values have evolved.

UNTIL the new wave of hatred, intolerance and bigotry arrived on the heels of this current president's campaign, beginning in June of 2015.

The floodgates were opened further on election day 2016, when many of his supporters felt that their hateful opinions were given legitimacy and they became hell-bent on un-doing and destroying everything that Mathew Shepard and the LGBT community had fought for and achieved.

It is just inconceivable how we have arrived at this place.

It is wrong and discouraging that we should have to see our fortress being dismantled piece by piece, or that we should have to fight the good fight all over again.

And all those allies and friends sometimes really don't seem to fully get it. There is danger afoot in this administration and among it's rabid supporters. Stay vigilant.

We will not be shaken, we will be strong. Stay strong my friends, stay strong.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Leon & Frank - 4th Anniversary October 25th, 2018

This is for my hubby, Leon, in celebration of our 4th Anniversary and 30 years of sharing our lives with one another. So I am posting this little slide show of some of our moments together. It maybe a bit pretentious, but hey, it's my blog.

I, we, Leon and I, have been truly fortunate.

During my many years of self-doubt and anguish I never believed I would have a boyfriend, a lover, a partner, a spouse, let alone 30 years of friendship and love. Such things were not even in my realm of imagined possibilities.

But here we are. After 30 years, still going strong for one another.

Thank you Leon, with all my love:

Music: Jeff Krassner, I Will Be Strong For You from the album of the same name.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Popcorn Movie - Deep Water - Netflix

Sunday was a stay-indoors Netflix day: cold, wet and dreary. We decided to binge-watch an Australian 4-episode miniseries called Deep Water. 

Australian Detective Tori Lustigman gets deeply  involved in investigating the murder of a gay man near Bondi Beach. She and partner Nick Manning are led on a trail of evidence that goes back to a series of gay-bashing murders that took place in the 1980s and 90s that were never solved or pursued by the authorities.

Intricate threads of evidence and connections are revealed as the story evolves and the many loose ends keeps one wanting to watch and learn more. There is not only the mystery being solved, but also the many deeply emotional scars that the characters reveal during the investigation that make the story compelling. (not to mention some eye-candy) We had to watch it through to the end of the 4th episode to see how the many loose ends are finally resolved. Definitely recommended (but if you are anything like me when it come to other than American English), with this caveat:

USE YOUR CLOSED CAPTION OPTION because the Australian accent is very strong (especially that of Chief Inspector Peel). The closed caption made a world of difference as I was getting exhausted trying to translate Australian to English in my head and missing much of the dialogue. Did the rewind from the beginning after 10 minutes, with captions...much better.

The story is based on actual cases of a large number of murders of gay men that took place along the Australian coast in the late 80s and early 90s. *

After a whole day of cold, dreary rain on Sunday, we woke up to this, this morning:

Much too early in the season for snow and freezing temps in this neck of the desert. Hope I can save some of those tomatoes!

* Note: I have been irritable, angry, cranky, depressed and disturbed all day today (Monday) and I think it has something to do with after-effects of watching the "Deep Water" story. The fact that gay men were (and in many cases still are) bashed and murdered for being who they are, is disturbing to the core. 

As Wikipedia states "The drama is based on the historical, unsolved hate murders of possibly 30 to 80 gay men in Sydney's eastern suburbs and beaches in the 1980s and '90s."  A documentary was aired by Australian TV at the same time as the series.

Links to the documentary here: Part 1
Part 2

I haven't watched the documentaries yet...I'm not sure I'm ready emotionally to watch.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Sand and Potato Chips

We returned home from our extended vacation just one week ago today. Two adults and a 100 pound dog in a small RV/camper with no slide-outs for five weeks was truly a test of love and endurance.

We didn't kill one another or even argue for that matter. Just enjoyed the closeness and learned to dance around one another while getting dressed or cooking or lounging.

I'm not sure I would want to do another long trip in that particular RV...something a bit roomier maybe.

As far as doing another trip out east to my favorite beach in all the world, well, I don't know if it will happen again.

One thing about getting old...the world of possibilities seems to shrink with every year. First of all there is the slowing of the engine, the aches and pains that make youthful activities a bit less enjoyable; then of course there's the shrinking finances - this trip was not cheap even though we stayed in our RV and cooked most of our own meals. The old Ford diesel was very thirsty.

I was ruminating on these thoughts while cleaning out the old Ford diesel pick-up this afternoon.

Vacuuming up the beach sand and potato chips on the floor of the truck, watching the sand get sucked up into the void like a memory fading into forgetfulness...was kind of sad and nostalgic and I wanted to save those grains of sand for some day when I need a beach fix.

The sand of Cape Cod is granite and quartz, grains of brown, tan, yellow, grey, pink, and clear crystal - large grains as beach sands go. Unique? Maybe not. But it's my sand and I love it.
Potato Chip Hazard Ahead?


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