Friday, June 30, 2017

Comfortable in Her Own Skin...

Janet walked by the shop window looking over the latest models on display. Fashion changed so quickly it was hard to keep up. And honestly she really didn't want to be cutting edge. The colors were too bright for her, the angles too sharp, and the styles too extreme. She liked the classics. The things that she saw as a child and dreamed of being able to buy.

But she did need to refresh her look. She had noticed this morning that her favorite was getting a little threadbare. A little worn looking. Nothing changes classic to old quicker than a sagging seam. But she wasn't keen on this new look. The bright blue was especially popular right now. And what was the deal with the add on spikes? Shoulder caps with long silver spikes. Neck collars with deadly looking needles. How in the world were you supposed to interact with the world if you looked like a blue porcupine?

Of course, she didn't really know exactly what a porcupine looked like. She had seen pictures of them and once even an old nature documentary where a dog had gotten a face full of quills. She had never seen a real dog either, for that matter. But she did have an idea of what they were like as well. She had always thought having a dog would be a good thing. 

She took a deep breath and walked in to the showroom. She was going to have to get new things, no sense putting it off any longer. Maybe they would have something on the clearance rack that would suit her tastes more. 

"Welcome in, Ms. Vargas! What can we help you find today?" The Salesbot rolled over to her as soon as she walked in the door. Her personal information already being transmitted to its memory banks.

"I'm looking for a new suit. Do you have anything in this style?" Janet motioned over what she was currently wearing.

The Salesbot scanned Janet from head to toe. Janet swore if its head had been articulated enough it would have cocked it in a puzzled look. As it was it was just silent for a very long time as it accessed all of the data records.

"The suit you are wearing is from our 2045 line. We haven't had anything from that line in stock for quite a while I am afraid. Let me set you up in a fitting room and we can look for other styles that might fit your needs."

Janet sighed. She figured that would be the case. Oh well. She let herself be led to a fitting room and sat down on the padded bench in front of the view screen. 

"If you will please stand still with your arms out to the side so I can scan your dimensions, Ms. Vargas."

"Oh yes, I'm sorry. It's been awhile since I've had a fitting."

Janet stood and let herself be scanned. She hadn't changed sizes since her last fitting. It was why she had been able to keep this suit for as long as she had. She hated being a style chaser anyway. She really did like the classic look. And it was just so expensive. She didn't understand people who had a variety of sizes at their disposal. So much money for something that you could make last with just a little more discipline. 

After the scanning was complete she sat down to view the style mirror. Her body was projected on to the screen wearing the bright blue spike suit she had seen in the window.

"This is our latest design. It's very popular."

"No thank you. I really am looking for something more classic in style and color. Do you have anything in champagne?" Champagne sounded so much nicer than beige. 

Janet watched as version after version of herself modeling the latest styles and colors scrolled quickly past as the Salesbot looked for a more basic style. It stopped on a pink version with artful cutouts on the waist. "No. Not really my style, I really would like something more classic."

The images scrolled again stopping on a royal purple outfit with a collar that looked vaguely like a coronation cape. "Not that classic. Really I would like something like I have right now. Just not so worn out."

The Salesbot tried again, "Many people like the updated looks once they adjust. They wear very well. Stain resistant. State of the art blocking technology. The brighter colors do not show damage as much as the older lighter color styles did. We find that..."

"I would really like to stay away from the bright colors. I just don't prefer them. Can you please look again to see what is available?" The images started to stream faster. More colors. More attachments and cutouts and stylistic choices. All of it much too ornate for her tastes.

"Wait! Go back!" Janet saw one she liked, it had been a light brown suit. Perfectly fitted. Very smooth. The images slowed and reversed one by one. "There that one! How much is that one?"

The image crackled for a moment. She could almost hear the circuits in the Salesbot's processors humming as it tried to access the information. "I apologize, Ms. Vargas. That suit is not available."

"What do you mean not available? You have it on the screen. It has to be part of your inventory."

The screen changed to a pale purple suit with silver highlights on the shoulders. "This is more contemporary yet understated look."

"No. Go back to the other one."

"That suit is not available..."

"I heard you. Go back to that look."

The screen shifted and Janet was again looking at herself wearing a light brown suit. It was perfectly tailored. Not a seam to be seen. The detailing was different. Shading here and there. But it all looked like it was exactly right. Not overly ornate. But she wouldn't call it plain. "When was this a current design?" Janet was thinking she might find a tailor who could copy the design and get a privately made suit. Though she wasn't sure she would be able to afford one like this.

The Salesbot was silent.

"I asked you when this was in your stores. I won't ask again. Don't make me call programming to run a diagnostic on you."

The threat of having its circuits wiped worked, "This is an historical rendering of what your original suit would look like if it had not been damaged in the fallout."

"Wait? This is..." Janet looked at the picture again. "This is skin? Actual skin? My skin?"

"Yes. This is what the projections say you would look like before the fallout."

Janet stared at the version on herself on the screen. Then she carefully peeled off one glove and looked at her hands. The radiation sores never healed. She was more wound than skin. Had never considered what her actual body would have looked like. She had been born after the war, after all. She was second generation after war baby. The land was diseased. The animals were gone. But the robots remained and the people were making a comeback. The scientists who created Nu-Skin had saved them all. The original suits had only been available in dull gray. It had taken years for them to design other colors. Then the style mavens had taken over.

Janet ran her fingers over the picture screen wondering what that suit felt like. What it would have been like to have lived in that skin. She put her glove back on.

As the tears fell down her champagne colored cheeks she said, "I guess I will take the lavender suit."

Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Splash of Red...

It was the red shorts.

She was driving to work and caught them out of the corner of her eye.

A jogger, do people still call themselves joggers? Probably not. Now everyone was a runner. In training for a marathon. Or a tri...tri what? Maybe it's try. Maybe she has been hearing it wrong. Try athletes. Not tri-athletes. Like maybe they are out jogging, excuse me, running because they are trying to be athletes.

Anyway...he was wearing red shorts.

As she drove past him she saw the flash of red out of the corner of her eye. His red shorts.

But she didn't realize that's what she was seeing. She just knew that there was a splash of bright red on the side of the road.

She didn't realize at the time it was red shorts and he was a runner and it was all normal. She just saw the splash of red.

That's what she told the officer anyway.

Not right away. I mean she didn't call the police because she saw a splash of red on the side of the road. That would have been crazy.

She called the police when she saw the story about the hit and run accident.

And even then she didn't call them right away.

She saw the splash of red out of the corner of her eye when she was walking in to the bar. The News was on the TV in the corner and they were talking about the accident. As she walked to the table by the window she saw the splash of red. And it made her think, I've seen that splash of red before.

That's when she found out it was a jog...runner. Wearing red shorts. The red shorts caught someone's attention on their drive in to work. They saw it as they were driving by and something didn't seem right so they had pulled over and gone back to look. They found him on the berm.

Berm is an odd word. She had thought for a long time people were saying burn. Which didn't make sense. They weren't burning the grass they were planting it in hills. Building a berm to block the view of the new construction. To keep people from seeing them. Unless, of course, they were wearing bright red shorts. Berm.

So now she had her drink and she was watching someone else who had seen that splash of red and had stopped and found him. It made her feel as though she probably should have stopped. But she hadn't. For a splash of red? Who does that? Well, except for the man on the News.

It had been a splash, a flash of red. How did he even know it wasn't right? How many other colors did he stop for each day? Did a splash of blue make him slow down? Or was it just red? Yellow? Orange? Pink? Pink would have probably led him to slamming on his brakes and putting the car in to reverse right away.

She laughed out loud.

She hadn't noticed she was laughing until people in the bar turned and stared at her. She didn't blame them. She was sitting by herself watching a News story on a hit and run and the hero who had stopped and she was laughing. Was it laughing? She tried to stop. It sounded a little hysterical. And it wasn't really funny.

She was probably feeling guilty that she had just driven on. Was he still alive when she had seen the splash of red? If she had realized something was wrong and stopped like the man on the News would it have been in time? Or was it too late by then. Had he already felt the berm?

She snorted and laughed again. Slamming her drink down and signalling for another.

It had been a spectacularly bad day. She had been late for work. She had spilled coffee on her keyboard. Again. IT was not impressed. She had called her boss by the wrong name. Which wasn't her fault. She had one of those names that are too close to other names. The number of Christines, Katherines, Cathys, Courtneys, Calistas, what ever. What happened to Rhonda and Lisa and Darlene? When did people start naming their kids the same name? Three hundred Britneys, Britnees, Britnays in her nephew's graduating class. It wasn't her fault. Not really.

Anyway once Crystal was through berating her for being late, ruining a keyboard and calling her Catherine she had told her that the company was bringing in an expert to run the Lakeridge account. Excuse me? She was an expert on the Lakeridge account. She had been running it for the past year hadn't she? Well, yes she had but apparently some things had slipped lately so they felt it would be good to get someone in who maybe had a firmer grasp on the fine details. She would, of course, be needed to help. And she would still be handling the other aspects of her job.

The filing. The making copies. The getting coffee. She was being pushed back down to being a glorified secretary. Again. She had been with the firm since she graduated college. She had worked up from intern to managing partner. Well not partner. Almost partner. She had been so close she could almost taste it. Then it had fallen apart.


She signaled for another drink. Was shocked when she looked down and saw she'd already had two empty glasses on the table. How did that happen?

She had been about to make partner. Had already started looking at new condos downtown. Ones she would be able to afford when that raise came through. Maybe a vacation to Europe. A tour. That's what they called them. A European tour. Partners got extra time off. More money. More vacation. She was right there. Then she wasn't.

A splash of red.

She laughed again. It was a splash of red that did her in wasn't it? Jerry got caught with a bright red lipstick stain on his boxers. His wife didn't wear bright red. Jerry decided to retire. His wife had given him the option. Retire or divorce. And he had chosen to retire. And her dreams of being partner retired with him. They couldn't fire her. They knew that. She could sue. So they kept her. For all the good it did her.

A splash of red.

She signaled to the bartender that she would be signing out now. When she got her tab she was amazed at how expensive a couple of drinks had gotten.

The News had switched over to an entertainment show. The latest it girl talking about her latest summer blockbuster. Wearing a cut down to her navel shirt and laughing at the host like he was the funniest man in the world. She did a slow blink watching them flirt. As the starlet leaned back you could see the edge of her bra. Just a little splash of red.

She got in her car and started the drive home. Slowly. There was no reason to rush. What did she have waiting there anyway? The trash and recycling that needed to go out tonight? Was that all? She didn't want to rush for that. She wouldn't put her containers out until late. She knew her neighbors were judging her. Like none of them had bottles to put out. She knew they did.

She saw the News van on the side of the road as she got close. They were broadcasting from the scene of the hit and run. Why did they do that? Go out where something had already happened? Did they expect to see the ghosts of newsworthy events past? Ridiculous. Shouldn't they be on a beach somewhere waiting for a hurricane?

She laughed again.

She drove past the News van. Past the berm. Past where the splash of red had been.

Well where it had been when the hero saw it.

She passed where it was when she noticed it a few feet past that point.

She could hear it again. The thud he made when he hit her car. She felt it. The way the car shook when he ran in to her. Because he had run in to her. She would have seen him if he had been on the edge of the road the whole time. He was wearing those damn red shorts after all. But she hadn't. Not until he was on her hood. Then flying up and over to the berm. Landing in a way that no one would ever land naturally.

Just a splash of red.

When she got home she called the police. She told them she had seen the News story about the hit and run. She told them her side of the story. That it hadn't been her fault. He had run in to her. She hadn't even noticed it except as a splash of red out of the corner of her eye. Not really. Then she told them where to find the car. She hung up the phone and had another drink. Then another. She took her trash and recycling out and sent Crystal an email message.

Dear Crystal,

Fuck you.

Then she filled the bath tub and sank in to the warm water clutching her glass so tightly it shattered in her hands. Across her wrists. Up her arms.

Just a splash of red....

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

For God and Country...

Yesterday Arkansas put up a ten commandments monument outside the state capitol building. Last night a man drove up to it and knocked it over. According to reports he also did this to a ten commandments monument in Oklahoma a few years ago. Apparently he suffers from some mental issues. But he also, it was reported, had posted before about being upset by these monuments. Not because he isn't religious but because he is.

And I feel that.

Driving home from the gym I pass a church. They had been setting up a tent earlier this week and I assumed it was for their VBS program. They have one every year and they set up the tent for it every year. Today I realized I was wrong. It's a fireworks display. So the fence of the church is lined with flags and the giant fireworks tent is set up and it's just brimming with patriotism. God Bless America...

And I could feel my face doing that thing my face does when I find something distasteful. And I wasn't sure what was bugging me for a little bit. I mean, I'm not a fan of fireworks. They are loud, they are annoying, I grew up in an area prone to fires so they always indicate fire danger for me, people start setting them off as soon as they go on sale and don't stop until they run out. There are people who think marking midnight of the 4th is a good idea who the fuck cares how many people are trying to sleep. It freaks out the dogs and it freaks out the vets. Go to a big display. We have a ton of them. You don't need to set off your own. And you especially don't need to set off the ones that are illegal here. But I know that's just me. Most people don't feel that way about them and I just deal with it every year. It annoys me but it doesn't usually make me mad.

So what was it?

And a voice in my head replied, it's a church. Ah...yeah, that's it.

And here is where I found myself nodding along a few hours later reading about the crazy guy knocking over the monument not because he wasn't religious but because he was.

In the church I was raised in you were not supposed to be political. God isn't a Republican. Not a Democrat either, by the way. He's God. He's above all of that nonsense. And you are supposed to be as well at least as far as mixing the two is concerned. Be in the world but not of it. Politicians and politics are small potatoes when you worship a king sort of thing. And even though I am not religious anymore there is the part of me that was raised that way that really hates when churches go political. Not because they can't but because they aren't supposed to.

And yes, I know that selling fireworks isn't really being political. It was more the row of flags surrounding the church that I found distasteful. American flags. Like God had chosen a favorite country. And that's part of what bugs me. That religious smugness that permeates so much of our politics. That invoking of a higher power who favors us. USA us. Like we are some sort of chosen people. Which, by the way, that's already taken and we already give enough money and clout to them that you would think we would understand that.

But it goes against what my religious teachings were and as much as I've rejected them growing up and leaving the church there is still a part of me that makes that face when I see a church wrap itself in the flag or a politician hide behind a bible. I find it distasteful. And usually dishonest. I mean look at Trump and his new found religion. Or Gingrich and his firmly held religious beliefs that he changes with each new wife. They are phonies and frauds and better hope that I'm right about the lack of a higher power because if the God they are pretending to believe in actually exists I have to think he won't look too kindly on hypocrites who use his name to advance their careers.

Which then reminded me of a conversation I had with my mother last year during our very contentious presidential elections. After debating the current candidates she suggested that I should run for office and that she would vote for me. (which I think was sweet of her to say, but my mother votes straight R tickets so we both know that wouldn't be likely) But anyway...I told her I could never get elected because I'm not religious. I would not end each speech with God Bless these United States.

And she replied...

You wouldn't be the first to say it that didn't believe it.

Yeah, but I wouldn't be able to keep my face from doing that my face thing...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


So we're almost at the half way point for the year. A few days shy of the six month mark. I thought it was a good time to check in on my goals and see how I'm doing.

With this blog a day in June push I'm back on track here. In fact this puts me ahead of the game a touch. I should be at 58 by the end of June and I'm sitting at 68 as of yesterday so I'm a touch in the black there. Which is good because I still have sabbatical coming up and that's two months of a totally different schedule staring at me. I want to be ahead of the game by a chunk before that happens, this helps put me there and hopefully I'll keep it there until September.

My reading goal was lighter this year and that's good. I'm three books ahead of the curve there but if I had set my normal higher number I would be quite a bit behind. So I was right in that I had so many other things I wanted to do that my book count would suffer. But for now I'm still ahead of the game. I would guess I will be even further ahead after our Alaskan cruise. I think there will be a lot of downtime on the ship where pretty much what I will do is read. I have no idea, I have no clue what to expect, but I think that's what will happen?

Health. I was aiming for 5 days a week at the gym plus more active outside of it. I'm pretty good about hitting the gym. Most weeks it's the 5 days. I skipped a day last week to get some things taken care of around the house before the day got too hot and I skipped today due to a blister and some things we'll talk about at the end of this list. Cooking and eating. I've drastically lowered the amount of sugar we are taking in. During the week I don't eat anything with added sugars if I can help it. I eat things that have natural sugars, fruits, cheese, milk, but no "sweets." On the weekend I do eat dessert and maple syrup. It's gotten to the point that I cannot tolerate a lot of sugar. It makes me a little ill. So that's good. Still not great, but it's good.

Gratitude and Picture of the Day. I've been consistent with both of those. The daily gratitude has been challenging some days. Not that I don't have things to be grateful for, I always have a lot of things I'm grateful for, but I find myself judging what I post. Does this sound stupid? I mean I am grateful for catching the time of day at 12:34 but how lame is that? Does this sound like a humble brag? I am really grateful we are going to Alaska. But I know a lot of people who can't take trips like that. Is it shitty to talk about it? So that's the challenging part. But I try to remind myself that it's MY daily gratitude and it's what I am grateful for. I shouldn't be less grateful for the things I have because others don't, I should be more grateful for them. And if you don't know that I love seeing sequential numbers then why the hell are you my friend? Picture of the Day I might drop at the end of June. We'll come back to that as well.

The year long list. I've checked off a few things. I still have a few to go. I've added more as well. Which is what it is for. So that's still chugging along.

Goof off time. This one has been hit and miss. I have time where I am goofing off but it's not supportive. Supportive? Is that word I want? I don't want to use productive because that is the opposite of what I am supposed to be doing there, but supportive seems right. It's not enhancing my life. There are some things I've done that have. I'm watching a TV show C recommended and I enjoy that. But I want to bust out my crayons more. And figure out a nice way to do a puzzle without messing up the kitchen table. Things that bring me joy. THERE YOU GO! Joyful! I find that sometimes when I'm goofing off it's not joyful. It's just...meh. So more good TV or movies. More coloring. More puzzles. Less online time suck things.

And then to track it all I got a calendar and some flashy colored stars to motivate me. I do love getting a star. And that worked...for a bit.

So here we are at the parts that I need to evaluate. Health is always the big one right? Though I've been pretty darn good about the gym I have not been as successful at the additional fitness things. Part of that has been weather related. We had a brutal winter so getting outside and doing things just wasn't appealing. Hopefully now that summer is here I will be better about it. Get us a few hikes in on the weekends and such. Last month I did a squat challenge with Brent, Susan and Liz and that was fun. It was extra physical activity and a group project in a way. Checking in daily kept me motivated. So maybe I will look for other things like that. Part of my problem is all of the other things on my list are sitting things. I can't read, write, color, while being active. I have conflicting goals here. So time management needs to step in.

Health is an issue with diet as well. I know it's all about being fit but I still really want to lose about 10 pounds. Now this is good news because on January 1 I wanted to lose 20. My problem is I've tapped out where I am. It goes up and down in a new range, but I'm not really lowering any further than I first hit back in March. It's just settling in in this area. So the cutting back on sugar was REALLY helpful, but it wasn't all of it. I know I should switch the way we eat further. Mediterranean is the diet style that comes up over and over as best for heart health and brain health. I just have been super resistant to actually doing it. I went to the bookstore today to pick up a plan book. I was going to just put us on it for a month and see how it went. BOOM. Then I looked through the recipes and remembered why I haven't done it yet. It just doesn't appeal to me. I need to get past the block and try it out, I think, but I'm so bad at sticking with things that feel forced on me.

I mean, I'm already frustrated with the sugar thing and I've lost 10 pounds and I think I'm sleeping better and it's got to be healthier for my insides. But I haven't lost more. I'm not making HUGE strides and damn I love sugar. So I'm sort of pouty right now. I'm trying to add in a bit more fruit to see if that gets me past this slump. And like I said about the Mediterranean diet part, I am lousy at sticking with things. I like cake. I like cookies. I want to be able to eat them whenever I want without getting sick to my stomach or a head ache. Even though everything I have read says they are SO bad for you. But dang it they taste so good...Like I said, I'm just pouty right now. I want my workouts and my eating to be showing better results, not slow results. Not I'm 48 so really this is very good (according to my doctor) results. But I'm hopeful it will pass.

I need to work out my writing. I feel like I've not been as focused there as I should be. I think maybe I need to block out a few hours every day where I just sit down and write. Blog or other work. But daily writing. Sort of what I have been doing this month, but not just focused on the blog. I don't have to have anything at the end of the day to show anyone except myself sort of thing. So I think I might do that.

I mentioned dropping Picture of the Day again. This one is always tricky for me. I do it because I enjoy it. Then I drop it because it's not bringing me the joy it did. Then I go back to it because I miss it. Maybe it's just that I need a different prompting list? Maybe I will find someone else's list instead of Fat Mum Slim for July and test that out. I've done her lists often enough that I recognize the repeated prompts and it's difficult not to repeat myself with the pictures.

And then there is the star chart thing. I need some sort of plan. Some sort of scheduler. But the stars aren't cutting it anymore. I've done 6 months of shiny stars and now they've lost their sparkle. Maybe I need to set goals for the number of stars of each color I am aiming for instead of just marking them? Though what am I working for at that point? What is the master YAY you did it? Hmm...not sure. But the stars have lost their motivating abilities so I think they will go away in July.


And this is where the other issues come in. I feel like I've set these yearly goals and designs and I'm only halfway through them. I feel a need to finish but I also feel like some of them aren't working for me right now. I have three more days of June to think on it and make any final changes before July 1 for the next 6 months. I will have to see what I do.

So there you go. Half point check in.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Books and Politics...

I like to say that West Wing is how we hoped the White House operated and Veep is how we fear it really is. Though now with the Reality Show President I think Veep might be a step up...

Anyway...reading Al Franken's book right now and it's an interesting look into the Senate part of our government. Now I've always liked Franken. Obviously his politics line up nicely with mine as does his snarky sense of humor. And, of course, I liked that he was willing to point out the lies of the Right. Bill O'Reilly was a favorite target. He wouldn't just say, "They are lying!" and shake his fist. He did his research. He showed where the lie came from. How it was promulgated. How it was designed so people believed it. And what a big crock of shit it was and why.

Of course this was before.

Before when I thought it mattered. In my crazy days of thinking that if you pointed out to someone that they were being told a falsehood, and showed them how it was a falsehood, it would matter. It took me a long time to realize that wasn't the case.

Now I see people who spent the last 6 years posting, "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor" as a reply to why they would NEVER trust Obama keeping suspiciously quiet about the Twitterer In Chief and his weekly barrage of nonsense. Because it doesn't matter. Not really. They don't care about a lie. They care about an R or a D. And they care about winning. Which, sadly, is what Trump foresaw. That people just want to win. They want to be able to say, "We won, you lost, get over it."when you are pointing out that he is lying to them. He is lying about things that are ridiculous to lie about. Things that are easily checked. That saying, "I didn't say that!" is not in fact the same thing as not actually saying that. That BUT HER EMAILS doesn't really justify anything he is doing.

It doesn't matter.

And that's really sad.

I don't understand it.

I do understand shades. I do understand what I think of as a misstatement or being wrong you think of as a bold faced lie. I do understand that you might be more forgiving of someone who you believe thought they were being honest at the time while I think they knew all along. I do get that at times there are nuances.

But when it's just a flat out lie? When it's easily provable to be a lie? When they should and in fact have to know that they are lying and they say it anyway? How do you justify that? How does that not bother you? How do you defend it or just as badly stand quietly by?

So right now I am mourning a little while I read Al Franken's book. It's a good book, you should check it out. It sheds light on a lot of our processes of elections and governing. He's a funny man who had to work at not being publicly funny for awhile. It's really interesting. But it's also more than a little sad to me. Because I can't help but think of all the times I thought that truth mattered. That facts were important. That if you just showed someone what was going on, and if you could show them in a funny way so much the better, but if you just showed them the truth they would see it.

Now I know better.

Most see an R or a D and the rest doesn't matter.

But it really is a good book. No lie.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


The first event of Not Sabbatical was a hit.

We drove down to Bend yesterday and had dinner with C then went to the Paul Simon concert. We stayed the night, had breakfast with C this morning, then came back up to Portland. Traffic wasn't terrible, which is great. It can be a nightmare between here and there. A few years ago we went down the Friday of 4th of July weekend, not thinking about it being the Friday of 4th of July weekend and our right around 3 hour drive took closer to 6. It was insane. But both yesterday and today weren't bad. Now to be fair we did leave right after breakfast this morning just to beat the rush home of everyone that spent the weekend on the rivers and lakes trying to beat the heat.

But was a good quick weekend trip and now we are home in time to get some things taken care of before work starts again tomorrow. Brent needs to fly to Seattle so that's a crazy sort of day in and of itself. Last time he had a meeting there his flight was delayed so much they ended up doing the meeting by phone conference AFTER spending a few hours in the airport. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. It's not Crater Lake, but we will get there some day.

The concert was really good. The Bend Amphitheater is a little less fancy than the one in Vancouver, more of a band shell than a concert venue, but it was still fine. Hot as fuck. Oh my god. The one thing it did not have that the amphitheater in Vancouver has is shade. So everyone was just out in the sun. Sweating like crazy. And since we all had to be wanded in the lines were crazy long. Now I went with fancy tickets so we skipped the crazy long line but we saw how long they were and felt really badly for everyone standing in them. (Yes, I know, but I am willing to pay for convenience)

He sounded great. He's 75 and did a two hour set. Amazing. C asked this morning if he did all of the hits (he was being a little facetious since he has no idea what Paul Simon's hits are) and I told him no, but that it would be impossible to do 50 years worth of hits. Fifty years. That's one hell of a long career. And he's still making new music. So no, he didn't play every song I would want him to play, but he played a lot of them. And even the newer things were good.

His band is incredible. And he has a brass section. I'm a sucker for a busy horn section. And we are pretty sure he was high as fuck when he first came out so to be able to sing that purely and remember all of the words while floating along on your own personal cloud. Amazing.

Now the parts that make me shake my head...

Why oh why do you bother to buy concert tickets if you are going to show up late, bitch about the artist, and talk through the songs? By the end of the night Brent had a hand permanently on my leg to keep me from spinning around and suggesting they would be able to hear their conversation more clearly outside of the venue so the man on the stage wouldn't keep interrupting them. It was making me crazy. He would sing they would talk louder. They had to have spent close to $500 for the number of seats they had. Why in the world would you spend that money to talk to each other and annoy everyone around you? Stay home. Throw a garden party with his music on in the background. Enjoy your friends and the music for so much less money and I would have to think so much more enjoyable of an evening. And for fucks sake stop tapping your foot on my chair. Don't make me ask you again.

One of the men was insistent that Paul wasn't playing his guitar. Every few minutes he'd announce to his group, "Do you enjoy air guitar?" then try to show how he would start and stop and so he obviously wasn't playing. Or his fingers weren't moving the right way. It took everything I had to not turn around and explain why he was an idiot. I guess he's never seen a band with more than one guitar player. And my guess is that the talking was making it hard for him to hear the difference when Paul was playing and when he wasn't. But seriously...every few minutes, "Do you enjoy air guitar?" What I would enjoy is you shutting the fuck up. Please. Just to be polite. They did pay enough attention to sing along with one song. That was the only time I thought they should go back to talking. Now I am horrible about singing along. I like to sing along. But I do so very quietly unless it's one of those moments where the artist encourages the crowd to join in . I figure you didn't pay to hear me sing so I will do it softly. And I don't have a terrible voice. *sigh*

After the second encore and the band took their bows and left the stage Paul stayed out there. Just him and a guitar. He closed the evening with a few final thoughts. Anger is addictive. It feeds on itself. And though there might be a lot of things to be angry about right now it's better to make decisions and plans with a clear and calm mind. So we need to keep in mind that someone is trying to make sure we are all staying angry. Someone is profiting off of our collective anger. And we shouldn't give it to them. Then he played Sounds of Silence on his guitar and sang. Just him. No band. One man and a guitar. Pure.

I turned around feeling the weight of his words to look at the people who had been driving me crazy all evening and....

SON OF BITCH they left early so I couldn't even tell the bastard, HOW DID YOU LIKE THAT AIR GUITAR YOU IGNORANT FUCK??

Saturday, June 24, 2017

What were you looking at?

I made the mistake of watching the Philando Castile video this week. The verdict had already come down and I wasn't surprised that they found the officer not guilty. That is the normal verdict after all. But watching the video was a mistake. Not only because I don't watch snuff films, and that's what that was. The man died. I knew going in that the man was going to die. I don't like watching people die. Let alone people be killed. And he was killed. Shot to death. But I shouldn't have watched because it made me angry.

What did they see?

What were they looking at?

You can hear Mr. Castile talking. He's very calm. He's not agitated. He's making the officer aware of his gun. That we in America are so proud to have to right to carry. So many guns out there in these great United States that every time a cop makes a traffic stop they assume the person is armed. I've heard it over and over all my life as to why that makes the job so stressful. What if the person is carrying? What am I going to encounter when I walk up to the car? Well, Mr. Castile told the officer exactly what to expect. He had a gun. He was carrying. When told not to reach for it Mr. Castile said he wasn't. His dying words were that he wasn't reaching for his gun. Dying words.

So when I watched it I posted about it and I had a couple of friends state that there had to be something else the jury saw. Had to be. Because the cop shot Mr. Castile so there had to be a reason. One pointed out how scared the cop sounded. If he was scared then there had to be a reason. Had to be.

This is a problem, in my opinion. And this is why we have officer involved shootings that end up in acquittals even when you can see what happened. When you the normal everyday man on the street watches and thinks, why did you shoot them? What were you looking at?

There had to be a reason.

We are conditioned to believe our police officers. We are questioned and condemned when we don't. I have a friend who is married to a cop who will drop you like a hot potato if you post anything remotely anti-police. I have a few friends who are in law enforcement who both dropped off of social media because they felt there was too much anti-cop posting out there. And it always makes me squint a little at what is shown to be anti-cop.

I'm not anti-cop. I think cops are great. Like I said, I have friends in the law enforcement community. I know the job they do is incredibly dangerous. I know they save lives. I know they help people. I know their family members worry about them coming home at night.

I also know that not all cops are good cops.

And no cop is perfect.

They make mistakes.

And if a mistake is made and someone loses their life? Well that's a mistake that should be punished.

And more often than not it isn't.

Because there had to be something more. There had to be something else. There had to be a reason.

But what are you seeing?

Are you seeing what is there or what you think HAS to be there? What you need to believe was there so you don't have to accept that that cop was wrong. Was human and made a mistake. A serious, deadly mistake.

I do think that the cop who shot Mr. Castile was scared. You could hear it in his voice. He was terrified. But Mr. Castile hadn't done anything to warrant that fear so why was he so scared? That's the part we should have been looking to answer. Not assuming that because he was scared there had to be a reason and because of that reason he was justified to be scared so he was cleared to kill Mr. Castile. What are you seeing there? I'm seeing a man who was scared. Scared of someone calmly telling him that he was armed. Getting his license out as he was instructed. Telling him that he wasn't reaching for his gun. Which makes more sense than telling the cop he had a gun and then going to shoot him. If Mr. Castile's plan was to shoot the cop wouldn't he have had the gun out, in his hand and just shot him when he walked up to the car? Why would he tell him about the gun? What were you seeing?

And I will have people tell me I wasn't on the jury. I don't know what they heard. And they will be right. I wasn't. I don't. But as I stated when I saw the recording, I have no idea what they could have said or shown me that would make me think that was okay.

Because, here is the thing, I assume cops are better than that. I want my cops to be REALLY well trained. I want them to have cool heads when the rest of the world is freaking the fuck out. I want them to be able to maintain rational, calm, cool, collected, mannerisms when every one around them is scared. The cops I know? They can do this. It's part of their training to be able to do it. So when a shooting happens like Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott (sadly just to name a few) my first thought isn't there must be something more, my first thought is that person should not be a cop. There was a huge mistake made somewhere that let them be a cop.

You can be both pro-police and anti-bad police. In fact you should be. I've said it over and over again. Bad cops make it more dangerous for good cops. They erode the public trust. They put their partners in to dangerous situations. They bring everything down. The whole bad apple analogy. One or two bad apples spoils the bunch. You have to get rid of the bad apples. You have to be able to say, there was nothing more. He was wrong. Someone died because he was wrong.

There are times when shootings happen that are necessary. When the officers are truly in danger or other people around them are truly in danger. There are reasons why that happens. I wish that I could read a story about the shooting and know in my heart that it was justified and if it wasn't then there will be punishment. But I don't know that right now. I don't believe that right now. I think we are wrong. We, all of us, when we say, there must have been something more there. Because sometimes there isn't and we are justifying something that is unjustifiable.

He was scared.

If that is all the justification that it takes then we should all be scared.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Best Laid Plans...

Today was supposed to be the first day of sabbatical. Brent's boss had an unexpected health issue and needs surgery and they both can't really be gone at the same time so we pushed it off. But there is still this feeling that today was supposed to be the first day.

The funny thing is that even if it were the first day of sabbatical there wouldn't have been much difference. Maybe an early morning hike before it got hot instead of a trip to the gym. Maybe stopping by work so Brent could turn his computer in for the next two months. But not really anything different.

I had planned on today being a down day. Brent just got back from Germany so I knew he would be jet lagged. I knew there would be laundry that needed done. I just baked in a quiet day at home before we hit the road tomorrow.

And we are still hitting the road tomorrow. We are seeing Paul Simon in Bend. Which now seems really extravagant. Before it was the kickoff to sabbatical. We were heading to Bend to see the concert then on to Crater Lake for a few days. Now it's just going down to see the show. Funny how the shift in beginning of vacation and weekend concert shifts the way I think of the money in my head. It shouldn't. It's still the same thing. We are going down for a show. But it still does.

We are still going on our Alaskan cruise next month. We had already booked and paid for it before we knew about her health so that did not change. He'll just take vacation time. Right now we are still planning on Hawaii in August but that might shift due to her surgery date. We just have to decide if the savings in the hotel would offset the flight change fee and make the call. I would guess we will change it unless the hotel doesn't have a room where we want it.

The funny thing is that I had really been slacking on getting everything booked and paid for. I had a lot of penciled in plans but only the two bigger trips actually booked. Then we needed to shift and it seemed like a good thing. I still don't have anything booked for Hawaii other than one dinner reservation. This isn't like me as most of you know. I schedule the hell out of our time in Hawaii. Tours, snorkeling, hikes, more tours, more hikes...but I've just been sort of letting it drift. Now it looks like that might have been a good thing.

And I still have to plan a full eight weeks starting in September, as of now. I think that will be locked in soon. Her surgery is scheduled, he needs to get back before Super Computing. (He doesn't get to wear a cape, I KNOW, I was disappointed the first year as well) And I do have a few ideas to line out. Maybe starting with a trip to Hawaii if that shifts. There is a trip to Michigan in there right now for the UofM/Sparty game. I was thinking we might do another one or two.

Overall I'm pretty relaxed about it all.

Which is not like me at all.

I think it's because of the moving of the time frame. It's not seemed like it's really happening just yet. It's the first time we've not had other things we had to do during sabbatical as well so it's just kind of nebulous. And there is the underlying existential crisis part.

Oh that?

Well it's the typical part of me that is pretty sure I shouldn't be the sort of person who can be so chill about shifting an 8 week vacation around without any problems. I mean who can do that? Only people with zero commitments. And although I really am a person with zero commitments and I'm normally really fine with that, it still seems like I shouldn't be.

When Brent's boss first found out she was going to need surgery and it was apparent that it would most likely happen during his planned sabbatical she was trying to decide how far she could push it off. He, of course, was like, no way. That's ridiculous. I will move sabbatical. That's easy enough. And she, of course, couldn't understand how that could possibly be easy. But it is, really. We are empty nesters. I don't work. We had only paid for two weeks of activities that we couldn't get out of or schedule around. Easy. Which is great. Except for the part of me that hears the voices in my head telling me that it's crazy that I don't DO anything.


I mean, I'm fine not DOING anything. I love not DOING anything. I love being flexible to what we need to DO around here. I love being able to sit down and write when I want to. Or take a day and read a book. Or watch a TV show that C wants me to watch. Or take a walk. Or iron shirts. Or deep clean my house. Or any number of other things that I DO. But even knowing all of that I feel a little like I should have a schedule. I should have people that rely on me to BE somewhere at a CERTAIN time. And there should probably be a paycheck involved as well, because reasons...

It's stupid and it's a little stressful.

Thank goodness I've got a big vacation coming...

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Just Checking In...

The vibration woke her up. The phone was bumping along on her nightstand like an angry hornet. She didn't look at the caller ID she already knew who it was. It had been a week since he last called so he was due.

"Just checking in..."

That's what he would say.

"Just checking in..."

Because that would make him the good guy. Then he could go on with his day knowing that he was a prince among men. I mean how many guys check in on their exes just to make sure they were okay?

"Just checking in..."

He could then take all of the attention. All of the condolences from their mutual friends. Soak them all in. "I've been checking in on her to make sure she's okay..." And they would all swoon. What a nice guy he was. How wonderful. They weren't even dating anymore and he wanted to make sure she was okay.

"Just checking in..."

The first time he had called she had fallen for it too. Oh my gosh, he cares. It was like cool water over a burn. Her heart had been so raw that seeing his name on her caller ID had been like a life line. Maybe he had realized it was a mistake. Maybe he wanted her back.

"Just checking in..."

Always a week. He'd figured out too often and it was like they were still together. Any longer than a week and he risked her actually moving on. But a week? That was the sweet spot. Let the wound just start to heal and then RIP the bandage off again.

"Just checking in..."

And always first thing in the morning. Waking her up. Taking away the only part of the day that didn't hurt. Getting her when she was most vulnerable. 

"Just checking in..."

The second time she had been so soundly asleep when he called that she had actually forgotten for a second they weren't together anymore. Hearing his voice had been so normal. So natural. Then he pulled the rug out again.

"Just checking in..."

The vibration had stopped. Soon the chime for the voice mail would come. And it would be the same.

"Just checking in ..."

His debt paid. His duty over. Her bleeding started again.

"Just checking in..."

How long would he do this? It had been two months. People were starting to think she had a problem. Why couldn't she move on? He was fine after all, they had just seen him out with friends having coffee, getting a drink, dancing with a new girl...

"Just checking in..."

She had thought about blocking his number. But then she was the crazy vindictive one. "I only wanted to check in and make sure she was okay. I don't understand why she blocked me..." So she left it alone.

"Just checking in..."

The voice mail chime sounded. "You have ONE new message. To listen to messages press ONE. To delete messages press SEVEN...."

"Just checking in..."

"Message Deleted. You have NO new messages. Good bye."

She put the phone down and walked to the bathroom. Looking at her tired face in the mirror she took a deep breath and... smiled. 

"Just checking in..."

She smiled again. Bigger. Then she laughed. And she kept laughing. She forced all of the joy she could manage into that laugh. Then she smiled again. She was going to be okay. She knew she was going to be okay. He didn't have her anymore. Nobody could keep her in check anymore. She had pressed SEVEN.

"Just checking in..."

She called him back later in the day. When she knew he would be busy and couldn't answer. "Yeah, it's me. I missed your call. No need to call back. I was just checking in..."

Then she marked her calendar to remember to leave her phone in the car next week. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

OH my....

So this morning I dug through a box of stuff I've kept from mine and Brent's middle school and high school years. I was looking for a sheet of titles from a game of sorts we played in high school. I say of sorts because it wasn't a game as in there was an objective, but it was a game as in we all had titles and there were rules. It was odd, but it was harmless and we all had a good time with it. So anyway...I thought I had kept the list of titles over the years and if I had it would be in that box. I had and it was.

It was in a binder that I have the very few pictures from that time frame, none of them from school, camp and tours only. Cameras just weren't toted around everywhere like they are now. Which is sad. I wish like crazy I had pictures of people from those time frames. Also in that binder were things people had made for me. Sketches that Chad did, notes and letters from Brent, a few Van Halen logos which could have been done by anyone of us. We had VH on EVERYTHING back then. And then a smallish collection of bad poetry and story ideas and starts.

I say smallish because I know that they were weeded out at one point. Things were tossed and things were kept. I have no idea what I used to make the decision because most of the stuff in that binder was dreck. But at some point it was the best of what I had. Or it meant the most to me. One of the things that made me smile was one poem that was fairly long that on other pieces and notes I had the same poem started 4 or 5 times. That first line was in my head for a long time before I turned it in to something else. There was also the start of a song. The only song I've ever tried writing. I can still remember the tune. The problem is I don't write music. I don't know anything about how to write music. So song writing wasn't really a calling for me. But I kept that one attempt.

So much poetry. I wrote a lot of poetry. And I kept a lot of it. I feel like I should print it all here so Skippy understands that the bad poetry I write now is actually outstanding poetry on the sliding scale. I won't, because, oh lord it was bad poetry. Hormones and drama and free verse...not a good combination.

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. Writing or just telling stories. I used to make them up on the fly while we were on the bus traveling. You have to remember that there were no smart phones or hand held video games. You listened to your walkman if you had one, and not a lot of us did, you read if you didn't get car sick or you figured out ways to entertain yourself. Telling stories was one of my ways. It would be nice to have some of those back. There was a scary story that had a punch line of e-i-e-i-o that had the bus in suspense and then mad laughter, there was a ghost story about La Llorona that terrified an entire girls dorm up at camp, there were others too. But I don't remember much about them. Usually just a few lines. Or the laughter when the ghost did the e-i-e-i-o bit...

It's good to remember and to touch that writing sometimes. To see not only that I have gotten better, that helps on days when words don't want to come or the crisis of talent hits and I want to delete everything. But also to see that is a part of me. It has been part of me for a long time. Even when I had to let it go due to time and I didn't feel like a writer at all I was still making up stories in games for C and telling stories at work about baby corn and confidence issues. Trust me that one slayed...

I packed everything back up in to the binder then in to the box. It will all go away again until someday when I'm looking for something else out there. And I will look through it all again and cringe at most of it, and think, yeah, there was something here for some of it. And hopefully remember the tune to my one song. And maybe someday someone else will find the early writings of the famous author Denise Mastenbrook and think...

Oh thank fuck she got better!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dead and Almost Gone...

If she had a nail file with her she would file her nails. Not because they needed it, but because it seemed to be the only thing that could capture how truly bored she was. She looked at her hands. Nope. They definitely didn't need it. So much for the old fingernails and hair keep growing after you're dead myth. Though to be perfectly fair her actual physical body was down there in the casket and she was sitting up here in the rafters so maybe her fingernails down there were growing.

She had separated from her body when they pulled out her heart during the autopsy. It was like she had been asleep up until that point. Awake and going about her day then darkness and dreamless sleep then SUUUUCKKK!!! being pulled out of her own chest cavity with her heart. She could see her other internal organs lined up on a work table with notes written by them. Condition, weight, color; it was a very surreal thing to be your first site of the afterlife. Here are your guts. Her heart was placed on the scale as well. Spoiler alert, it did not weigh less than a feather. So maybe this was her punishment. To have to sit through a funeral she had specifically asked not to have.

She couldn't get more than about 10 feet away from her body or she would not have been here. She shouldn't have been here at all. That was not the plan. When the mortician had placed her organs back inside her chest cavity and started to sew her up she had been confused. First off they were all supposed to have been donated, but maybe she had died in such a way that they couldn't have been. She had no memory of the actual dying part of her life. Which seemed like a real rip off. Like watching a movie on your DVR and realizing it ran long so you are missing the last 10 minutes. But okay, anyway, maybe her organs weren't good for donation, but why was he sewing her up just to cremate her? What a waste of time.

Then when he got out the make up kit, she knew. And she went from confused to furious. She had been really clear, very clear, as clear as anyone could ever be that she did not want a funeral. Never. None. Nothing. Donated, cremated, scattered. But no funeral. No grave. No head stone. No ridiculously expensive coffin. No. And while she screamed NO! over and over the mortician calmly reached down and turned up the music in his headphones and kept working. And since she couldn't leave she was forced to watch.

People were starting to file by the casket. Looking at her. She imagined they were thinking pretty much what she was. That she had never looked better. It was true. He had done a really nice job with her makeup. And she wasn't sure who bought that dress for her but it was a lovely color. The casket must have cost a fortune as well. Why in the world would he have done that? She had been so clear. No casket. Thousands of dollars for a heavy box with a silk lining. Even seeing it and seeing that it looked comfortable she couldn't understand why he would do it. She couldn't feel anything. She wasn't in that body anymore.

She looked down at the mourners filling the pews. Her nephew was there. Poor kid. She remembered funerals when she was that age. Boring. At least he had a video game with him. She wondered what he was playing and floated down to look over his shoulder. Oh she had loved this one. You had to pick up items on a walk to use later to build a house. He was about to walk past a crate that had tools hidden inside though. She reached forward automatically to point it out to him forgetting that he wouldn't see her and thuuup she was suddenly looking at the game from a different set of eyes. She pulled back as fast as she could and thuuup she was back looking over his shoulder.

Now this was interesting.

She floated over to where her mother was sitting and leaned in. Thuup. She was sitting in a pew thinking about how angry she was. He was just going to burn her body up and throw it out. No marker. No grave site. Nothing. Just gone. How dare he. Thank goodness she had found out in time...Thuup...

Well that explained that at least. Of course it was her mother. That explained the funeral. That explained the church. That explained the dress. She was a little mad that he disregarded what she had told him she wanted done but she knew better than anyone how hard it was to stop her mother once she was on a roll.

She looked around at the people nearby. Could she just pop in and visit anyone? Or did it have to be someone she was related to? One of her co-workers was viewing the casket so it seemed like a good time to check. She floated over to where he was standing and leaned in to him. Thuuup....She looked down at her own face and thought, Was she always that pretty? He really didn't think so, but maybe because she was such a ballbreaker he hadn't noticed. This might be the first time he had ever seen her with her mouth shut. She/he reached up a hand and wiped away a tear. He was going to miss her hard ass at work. And fuck he was so busy now trying to do both their jobs they better hire someone soon. Hopefully another ballbreaker. Thuup...she pulled back and then shot forward. He had walked away from her body while she was in his head. She had made it all the way to the back of the church while she was riding with him. As soon as she pulled out she snapped back within her range of the body. Now this was interesting as well.

So she could pop in on anyone. If she was in their space she could leave her body. She would hear their thoughts. Hmm...what else could she do?

The minister was walking in at that point looking through his notes for the service. Thuup...she was in and reading along with him. A sermon? Oh no. That wasn't going to happen. His hands grabbed the edges of his index cards and tore them in half while he suddenly thought, "No sermon." Thuup. She turned and looked at his face. He didn't look confused at all. He had no idea that it was her idea not his to ditch the sermon. Nice.

This could be fun. For however long she was stuck here it would sure beat floating over a grassy hillside near the family plot. She heard the intake of breath before she saw him. The rest of the mourners taking in that sympathetic sigh for his pain. For what he had lost. Everyone except her mother. Who watched him with angry eyes. Still not forgiving him for taking her away in the first place. And definitely not now that he wasn't even going to plan a funeral for her. Poor guy. He looked rough.

He didn't come look inside the casket, just took a seat. She knew he did that as his small way to honor her wishes. She floated down to sit next to him. Not noticing their friend Janice slipping in to the pew ahead of her. Thuup...She watched her hand reach out and rest on his leg. Slowly rubbing his thigh. She thought, once the body is buried his guilt will go away. Nobody suspects anything. He'll cash the insurance and we will head to Mexico to finally live the life she was keeping from us. Thuup...

She leaned in to him then. Thuup...Stop touching me. Stop touching me. Why did I ever listen to you? Why did I let you convince me to do this? Then her mind was filled with images of him laying in bed with a very naked and sweaty Janice. Talking about her. What to do about her. How to get rid of her. Thuup...

She floated in front of her husband and best friend for a few more seconds. Turned and looked back at her body laying in an expensive coffin that she never wanted. Remembering the last 10 minutes of her movie. The moment she realized that Janice wasn't helping her out of the water, she was holding her under. She had drowned. Accidental death. That was the note on the table near her lungs. Accidental drowning. The only witnesses were Janice and him. And he let her die. For the money. And a sweaty Janice.

She watched the rest of the funeral proceed trying to sort out her thoughts. Trying to piece together when it had started. How she had missed it. How she could have misjudged him so badly. Regret, so much regret. Then she looked at her mother again. Straightening her skirt, dabbing her eyes with a hand embroidered handkerchief. So much money. So much power. And yet she hadn't been able to stop her daughter from running off with him. The man she had tried to warn her about. He's lazy. Lazy people cannot be trusted. They will look for shortcuts. They are easily mislead. You deserve more than lazy.

If she had only known. Her mother was right. Lazy looks for shortcuts. And a big insurance payoff was a good shortcut.

Too bad for him he married a real ballbreaker.

Looks like she was going to go to Mexico.

She leaned in to Janice...Thuup.....

Monday, June 19, 2017


I'm writing this under duress.

It's my own duress.

But it's still duress..

I'm in the middle of a book right now. It's so beautiful. And horrible. And well done. And right now I resent anything that takes me away from finishing it. Like writing this blog. That I promised myself I would do. Everyday. Write.

So under duress I am writing this handful of sentences.

Then I will run to the store for something to have for dinner because all I've had today is breakfast before I started reading and fruit because I can read and eat fruit at the same time. Now I am starving. And I had to pee REALLY BADLY. Because fruit has a lot of water in it. And I resented that as well. But it got me to close the book long enough to take care of these other things I really need to take care of.

The book is Beartown, it's by Fredrik Backman and if I hadn't already read Britt-Marie was Here and A Man Called Ove I would think this book was a fluke. A once in a lifetime novel. But it's not. It's just how good he is. Read everything he writes. Make sure you have time to do it, because you will resent everything that takes you away from it.

Like food.
And going to the bathroom.
And your own writing.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day...

It's Father's Day. Brent is in Germany. C is in Bend, I mean he lives there so that's not a huge shock, but still. I've been on my own since Wednesday and still have until this Thursday to go. The On This Day feature is filled with the 6 year remembrances from when Dad died. I'm on my period. What I'm saying is I'm a little emotional right now.

It isn't surprising to be upset when a parent dies. I mean, that's the expected reaction. But as I've written about before I was surprised about how much my father's death affected (and still affects) me. I left home at 18. My dad worked two jobs for most of my life so he was busy. I worked and went to school for the last few years I was at home so I was busy. I am not a daddy's girl, that's my sister. I have always been extraordinarily independent, and that includes from my parents.

But independent doesn't mean completely separate.

I have horrible nightmares sometimes. My dreams are always super vivid. I think most writers probably have vivid dreams. We pretend during the day so why wouldn't we pretend at night as well? Which normally is fine. I have vivid, odd, technicolor dreams. But when I have nightmares they are also vivid and odd. When I wake up from one it tends to hold on to me. I can feel the tendrils of the bad dreams trying to drag me back to sleep to pick up where we left off. In times like that I reach out and touch Brent and then go back to sleep. Just a reminder of him being there next to me works.

I think that's what happened when my dad died. I can do it myself. I don't need your help. I've got this. All of those things were mantras of my childhood (and some would say still are) but if I ever got in over my head I knew that I could reach out and touch my dad. I could get his help. I could call him to listen to the car make that funny noise, or help unlatch something that I was having a hard time with, or look at a problem and design a tool for me. I didn't have to have him help, but he was there if I did. And even though it had been years since I had needed to reach out and touch dad to get through the day, he was still available. Until he wasn't.

And I hadn't realized until that point that part of me was still taking comfort in the fact that I could always fall back on him if I needed to. But like having a nightmare when Brent is traveling, I had no way to reach him. To reassure myself that I really did have this, but just in case...

Over the years I've figured that out. And figured out that I still do reach out and steady myself with Dad. Or with Mom as well. Even when they aren't around they are so much a part of me that I touch them all the time. And when I really need to "talk" to Dad I hold his ring. My talisman of my father. And it helps me feel a little stronger. Because that's what Dads do. They make you feel a little stronger.

When I was very little my brother and sister and I were outside playing and the neighbor kids took something of ours (I want to say it was fireworks, but I cannot for the life of me remember what it was now). When Dad found out he went and got it back. But he didn't just do that. He brought those kids back with him and we all had to stand in a circle and talk to each other. They had to return what they had taken and I think we had to apologize for not letting them play with us in the first place. It's a foggy memory on specifics. The lesson I got out of it though was that we all had to stand there and talk it out. All of us. It wasn't a case where we were better or worse, we all had something we had to say to each other to fix the situation and Dad made it happen. Dad was a fixer.

The one thing he couldn't fix though was his death.

There was no way to undo that one. To get him to open the latch I couldn't get to budge. To make a tool for me that was going to get me through that day and the next and the one after that.

Or at least that's what I thought when it first happened.

Now I know he gave me those tools a long time ago. I've got this. I can do this. Even if I need to reach out and touch my talisman. Or tell a story. Or make a dumb joke. I can touch him. I can get that support. He did that over the years. Quietly. While he was incredibly busy. While I wasn't even paying attention. He taught me how to make it on my own.

I hope Brent and I have done the same for C. I think we have. He is living on his own, working, paying his bills, finding friends and things to do that he enjoys. He can still reach out to us when he needs to. And I am really happy that he calls home once a week just to check in. But I hope that he has us with him all the time. I hope he hears our voices giving him the support he needs. I hope that when he feels a little lost he can reach out and put a hand on Brent and know that his father has him. Quietly. Even incredibly busy. While C wasn't even paying attention. I hope he knows.

Happy Father's Day.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


I've talked about where ideas come from before. Or I guess more correctly I've talked about the fact that ideas come from everywhere. Something someone is wearing, something they say, a look on their face, a weird cloud shape.

Today was a when ideas come sort of day. I was cleaning today and that's often when I get a flood of ideas for stories. It's because my mind is free to wander during those stretches. It doesn't take a lot of brain power to spritz and wipe. Today a good chunk of the day was spent working on window sills and window blinds. Spray with water, let it soak, wipe it out. Spray again. Use some creative tools to get the grime out of the corners. Wipe again. Get the duster. Back and forth. Back and forth. Super boring...but because it's super boring my mind starts to dig around for something more interesting.

So I've got an idea on a piece for Muse (this is the longer thing I've been working on); I've got the opening scene for a writing prompt Dana sent me a few weeks ago; I've got a little better idea on another longer piece that showed up in my head this week. Not a bad day's work.

Now of course the issue is I need to capture those ideas in a more concrete way so they don't just float away and become, "What was that again?" ideas.

And that is the real writer's challenge. Most of us know where our ideas come from. Many of us even know how to trigger a bunch of them to come. But trying to get them from our heads on to paper in a way that makes sense...that's the challenge.

And the next challenge is deciding if it's any good. That's where I am with Muse right now. I have pieces of things that sort of hang together. I think a lot of the pieces are not bad. What I am not sure about is if it will ever be good. A good solid story. I still don't have a plot. But I'm trying not to get too bogged down with that and just write. Get it out there first and then see what I have. Or don't have. But get it out there.

And that's the hard part. The how of writing. I've got the where and the when, but man that how trips me up a lot of the time. How do I get it out of my head and on to paper without it flitting away. How do I translate the scene that I see (like with the writing prompt) into the right words so you see it too? How do I keep that really fantastic line of dialog in my head long enough to get a note written about it? How?

I told Dana today that there needs to be some sort of machine that translates the visions into writing. You could press a button behind your ear and BOOM off to the computer the story goes. Done and done.

Maybe I should write a story about that....

Friday, June 16, 2017

Short post....

Short post today.

I have some other writing that I am working on. I have FIVE!! books that came in from the library I am trying to finish. Two of them are due in 3 days so you see how that is going.

I have a list of chores I want to get through while Brent is traveling. I took painting off the list because I forgot to have him help me move some things and add that to no screens to keep the windows open it seemed like a good chore to put aside. BUT I still have a good long list to get through.

Today is always a melancholy day anyway so I'm puttering through that.

I have a bunch of things on the DVR I really want to watch that for some reason never seem to get watched. Plus about 80 episodes of Steven Universe and Lemony Snicket and The Handmaidens Tale and...

Well I am a little scattered is what I am trying to say.

But today I am going to wallow in the melancholy and read for the rest of the day.

So this is a short post.

That totally counts.

It does.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Safe Spaces...

I was going to write this yesterday but that was before we had two mass shootings in one day and it seemed inappropriate. Then I reconsidered and felt that it was probably more appropriate.

You all know that I've joked that I need a trigger warning for the phrase safe space. And it does make me crazy. Trigger warnings and safe spaces. Not that I think they are always a bad thing, but I think they are an abused thing.

I've talked about friends giving me trigger warning for movies. It might contain vomiting (I have a sympathetic gag reflex), it might contain hand injuries (I have multiple scars on my hands from injuries and it literally makes my skin crawl and my stomach churn to see one happen), it might have any other number of things I have issue with seeing comfortably. And so I go in to (or don't depending on the warning) knowing what is going to happen and being prepared. But what I don't do is stand outside the theater and tell everyone else what they are about to see and that they shouldn't watch it because it makes me uncomfortable.

The same thing with safe spaces. But with safe spaces my general feeling is that they don't exist. Not really. We try to communicate with people that this is a safe space. Which can mean that you can say anything you want without judgment OR it can mean that certain things are never said here OR it can mean that we don't talk about issues OR it can mean we are free to talk about all of the issues. The problem is your safe space and my safe space can be totally different things. And the no judgement part? Please. I guarantee you if you have a no judgement zone safe space set up and someone broaches one of your trigger warning areas you are judging them.

And it REALLY bugs me that so many colleges have embraced these things. College should be the furthest thing from a trigger warning safe space area. It should be a challenge zone where you either can defend your ideas or you need to explain why you are still holding on to them in light of new facts. Critical thinking; not safe spaces. Logic; not trigger warnings. Learning to live your life with other people who have different ideas than you do. Learning how to hear things that you disagree with without writing off the person as ignorant. Unless they really are. But if you cannot argue the opposite point without shutting down the discussion you don't get to make that claim.

I've talked about my parents raising me to question everything not realizing that the first thing I would question was their religion and the second their politics. Or if they thought I would question those things they didn't expect me to come up with the answers I did. But I did. It didn't stop them from loving me or me them. It didn't even stop us from having a few passionate discussions about those differences. We believe different things. There are things I am positive my family is wrong about. And things my family is positive I am wrong about. But we still can sit down to a meal and have an eye rolled filled conversation that ends with everyone hugging. My mother is a lot of things, but she is not stupid and I would imagine she would say something similar about me. To write off her ideas as dumb would be disrespectful at best and ignorant on my part at worst. There are things that she believes that I think are idiotic. But I never think she is. There is a difference. The idea is repellent, not the person.

We lose that a lot of the time. Especially in politics. We are tribal about our politics now and we feel the need to make the other side less than. And I get it. I have a very hard time not getting angry when discussing the social issues I believe in. And I lost my cool more than once last year dealing with people who didn't understand that in a system like ours if one candidate is clearly the lesser of two evils you vote for less evil. You might think you are going to sleep well casting your third party vote but please believe if you aren't voting for less evil you are campaigning for more. That's why it's a fucking expression in the first place. And I tried, I really did, and I still try to understand that other point of view. But it's difficult. I know very good people who made what I believe to be a very bad choice. But again, that's what I believe. And I know they believe something else. So they aren't banned from my life as I try to create a safe space trigger free zone. Even if I roll my eyes or shake my damn head or ask if they are being willfully obtuse or rant to Brent about them while I try to construct a more coherent argument than, "are you fucking high?"

Because there are no safe spaces. There are no judgement free zones. I know they are judging me right back. My third party not voting for evil is the best choicers were indignant that I could choose someone they saw as clearly flawed instead of someone better. But no one was perfect. There never is anyone perfect. And I didn't think their champion was the answer anymore than they thought mine was. So they rolled their eyes, and shook their damn heads and asked me if I was being willfully obtuse and probably thought I was fucking high. But they are still around. Because they understand that my world might not be a trigger warning free safe space zone but it's a place where I expect you to argue AND still hug it out, bitch.

I've called Brent the closest thing to a safe space I have. I came in to our marriage really angry. And he stayed. I was mean as a snake at times. And he stayed. Though he is always clear I was never mean to him. He listens to more ranting and venting than anyone should ever have to. He listens to my arguments about a subject that I'm still forming and sometimes gets to hear me blow out the steam and come to a different conclusion once I explore all the "but maybes." But it's not really a safe space. Not really. The men in Brent's family have heart attacks. Massive ones. His father died at 58. My father had his first heart attack in his mid 50s. Brent is 48. We are in the zone. I feel it lurking at times. He had a scan done when his dad has his heart attack and he's waiting right now for a new cardiologist recommendation (his old one retired) so we can keep on top of his heart health. But we're not safe. No matter how much I insist we are both living to 100.

My father (as I mentioned) had heart disease. My mother has cancer. My grandmother had Alzheimer's, these are the monsters under my bed. My DNA isn't a safe space either.

Yesterday a group of people in San Francisco went to work and didn't come home because a co-worker killed them. Yesterday a group of people in D.C. were playing baseball with colleagues and a man opened fire. Yesterday a lot of people went to bed and woke to a massive inferno raging through their homes. Yesterday more than that happened that wasn't major enough to make the local news. We don't have safe spaces. Not really.

Health. Disaster. Crazy people. These things mean that our world is not safe. It never has been and it never will be.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that because it's not safe; that because there are real dangers out there we should be scared all of the time. We shouldn't. But if you are trying to demand that people only say what you think they should say, and only think what you think they should think you aren't making the world a safer place. You are making it a place not worth living in. The challenge of ideas is where you grow. The acceptance of people in to your life is where the good is. If you only spend time with people who see things the way you do you will only see what you've always seen.

A few years ago I was stung by a bee. Weird complications to that sting almost killed me. Because of that I had a phobia of flying insects. Bees especially. I had massive panic attacks. But I love flowers. So I wanted it to stop. I stood by the flowering bushes and watched the bees flying. I told myself over and over that it wasn't a big deal. That I had even been stung before and had been fine. That if I wanted to live a life without panic attacks at flying bugs I was going to have to fix this irrational fear. And eventually I did. I didn't do it by insisting that no bugs enter my area. I didn't do it by stopping my obsession with close up flower pictures. I did it by challenging my fear. And rediscovering that for the most part, bees don't want anything to do with me either.

That's what I want the safe spaces and trigger warnings to be. See what bugs you (so to speak) and deal with it. Learn about it. Question it. See why it bothers you. Find people who disagree with you and talk with them. You don't have to agree with them. You don't even have to like them. You absolutely don't have to change your mind. But you should be willing to open it.

There are no safe spaces.

Not really.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Make a Note...

Make a note of how you felt this morning when you heard the news that a gunman had opened fire on a group of Congressmen out practicing for a baseball game.

Make a note of that feeling in the pit of your stomach that it has come to this for him.

Make a note of how sickening it is that anyone would think killing a group of representatives was the right choice.

Make a note of how you probably thought of Gabby Giffords and how much worse it could have been.

Make a note of all of those things and then remember. Remember that feeling the next time someone argues for their 2nd Amendment rights so they can take arms against the government. Remember how you felt today. Or when Gabby Giffords was shot. THAT is what taking arms against the government means.

The government is not some nebulous THING in Washington. The Government is people. Living, breathing, working, people. With families. And lives. Real people.

Make a note.

Don't forget.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Yesterday's Day...

Looking at my On this Day list for yesterday in Facebook and this is what I had...

7 years ago today it was C's graduation from high school.

6 years ago today we were in Tennessee discovering that we really didn't want to move and work in a "company" town.

3 years ago today I got the blood results back from the vet and sat in the parking lot of the dentist's office and sobbed.

2 years ago today we saw a house that we sort of liked but thought it was a little over priced. That house is probably another 100K today. It's a crazy market out here.

1 year ago today I was in shock from the Pulse massacre. I still sort of am.

The On this Day feature is often a kick in the stomach.

I know it is around this time of year anyway. We are coming up on the anniversary of Dad's death. When we had to put George down in the same time frame a few years later it seemed extra cruel. Now we've added the Pulse massacre to the list.

The extremely personal, the beloved pet, the multitudes that I can't wrap my head around. There is a lot of death.

But there is also celebration. C's high school graduation was a lot of fun. They walked in to bagpipes for goodness sake! And a friend of his sang at commencement and her voice was so pure it gave me chills.

And there is knowing what you don't want. We did not want to move to Tennessee and have Brent work for Eastman. The idea of Eastman road and Eastman fields and Eastman this and Eastman that sort of gave us both the creeps. But it was good to go see. And nice for him to be courted. And good to have opportunities, even if you don't take them.

And there is the knowledge that even though that house is worth even more now, it was still over priced for what we want to do with our money. Where we live is not perfect. It never will be. But it's super affordable. And because it's super affordable we have the freedom to do a lot of other things.

Looking back gives us a chance to remember the good and bad so we don't get too precious with how much better things used to be, or how much worse. It gives us an opportunity to evaluate where we are today. Is it where we wanted to be? And if it's not is that because we changed our minds or because we stopped working toward that goal? Do you need the reminder to get back to work?

I like the On this Day feature. Even when it's a kick in the stomach. I really like it when it's a kick in the ass. And I like thinking about what I will see in a few years when I look back again. Will it be something big or something little? Will my vaguebook post about a hockey game make me laugh or shake my head because that call was totally blown and EVERYONE should know it. Will I see friends commenting that I miss now? Or ones that I know I will talk to soon?

I'm a fan of my own personal history, not just because I'm fascinating, though you totally know that I am...but because without seeing where I've been I'm not sure I would really SEE where I'm going.

And I am still going places.

Just check my feed to see where.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Today has been a day loaded with false starts and stutter steps.

I started out with a line in my head that would work with another line I wrote down yesterday morning as soon as I woke up. I chose not to write it down this time because I was guessing it was around 4 AM and I really wanted to get more sleep. So I tried really hard to lodge it in my brain and went back to bed. When the alarm went off two hours later my first thought was to write down that line. Which was now missing. Well dang it.

Then getting ready to go in to the gym I started a status update and ended up copying it over to notes because I decided it would make a better blog. I could expand on it and fill it out and it would be pretty good, I thought. But when I sat down for the expanding I couldn't remember a single add in I had before my work out.

Then I got two different short story starts. I wrote down the quick note on them because I was in the middle of something else when they came. Sat down to turn first one then the other in to more than just a start and got nothing. Just a paragraph for each of them.

While I was showering I was running ideas in my head about the longer piece I've been working on. I have a few scenarios I want to go back to. I also have another scene that is there. My issue is I am starting to think I have two different stories that are trying to become one. I'm doing my best to ignore that and just get it all written out and then figure it out. But a BIG part of me thinks if this is supposed to be a long piece it really should have a plot. Which is answered by the other part of me that is pretty sure that's why I only write shorter pieces. I am well known for losing the plot...

So today has been a lot of hours put to writing with not a lot of hours of writing to show for it. Frustrating but it happens.

The good news is I have a lot of ideas just waiting to be fleshed out.

Hopefully starting tomorrow...

Sunday, June 11, 2017


...we did not win the power ball last night. Just in case you were wondering. I bought two whole tickets as well. And nothing. AND I bought another ticket on Wednesday so $6 WHOLE dollars toward the endeavor, actually $7 WHOLE dollars because the lottery machine doesn't make change so I had to buy a $1 scratcher as well which ALSO wasn't a winner. So $7 WHOLE dollars spent and ZERO dollars won. What a rip off...

Which I knew going in. And I will know next time I decide to play. But play again I will. Because what if...what if we did win a few hundred million dollars. How cool would that be? I posted a status awhile ago on what sort of rich I wanted to be, it was mostly sports and music tickets with travel rich. Good seats. REALLY good seats. And travel without a second of thought on if we could afford it, what the trade offs would be needed to make to take the trip. That kind of rich.

Brent would like to be professional sports team owner rich. Hockey or football. But owning a team. That's his big dream sort of rich. My rich costs a little less than his does but both are levels of rich that a lottery win would help achieve.

So I will play again. Because I like that dream. That what if it happened feeling. And really I think right now we are the not poor kind of poor that can afford the $7 WHOLE dollars a few times a year. Though I am still the not poor kind of poor that pulled out the $5 bill and not the $10 when I bought tickets yesterday. I mean, adding an additional $5 to the $2 I spent Wednesday was okay but adding $10? Now that would just be crazy...

But we didn't win. So I'm back to counting my dollars. To making the decisions on what trade offs we make to take what trips. To cringing a little at the cost of hotel rooms in Ann Arbor on foot ball weekends. But also the kind of not poor that makes the reservations anyway and still has tickets to the game and to the musicals and to the concerts. Just okay tickets while keeping my really low mortgage instead of front row or 50 yard line while owning the super cool condo downtown. Travel on vacation or sabbatical instead of off season for the sport of the team Brent owns.

Maybe next time.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Always looking...

Last night I had a dream about this big town festival that was happening. We didn't live in the town, we were there visiting for the festival. It was one of those things that everyone should see. While we were walking around looking at what was all tied to the festival all I could think was "this is going to be a blog." I don't remember much about the festival itself, just that I felt like it was pretty solidly a sign of what was wrong with our current civilization. So you know, not my scene.

But it did make me a little amused this morning when I woke up and realized even in my dreams I am planning on my next blog.

Now, I can tell you where the pieces for the dream came from.
1. Sabbatical. With shifting sabbatical by a few months my loosely woven trips and concerts that made a relaxed yet still doing things sabbatical all fall apart. The two big trips and the concerts won't move. We will still do them as planned. But that leaves me with another two months to plan. And we've been talking about how to fill that time. What are the things we really need to see. So that was the town festival part.

2. The downfall of civilization. Well...let's see...I think you can figure that one out. I really do think we need some sort of shift or tilt to get us all back to the center. I was reading a friend's status yesterday and one of her more passionately conservative friends went off on a full on foaming at the mouth rant about the Comey hearings. It was amazing to me to see what he got out of it. Really relates to yesterday's blog, but he watched (assuming he watched, though from what he was posting it really looked like he was led afterward to what he believed was said) a totally different hearing than I did. He's takeaway is that Hillary should be locked up, Comey committed treason, Trump is a great man who does great things, believe me. It was a look in to an alternate universe.

3. The blog. I'm doing the blog everyday thing right now and just like I predicted it SEEMED like a really great idea when I was manic. Now that the mania has faded I'm looking at 20 more days of June and no ideas on how to fill them. So at least I know that I will regret the things I decide to do, I just should probably stop the committing to doing them part when I realize that. Though as Brent said today regarding something else, "Don't ever decide not to do something on the CHANCE that it might not work out."  So committing while manic makes that easy. Everything looks like it will work out fine if you are manic.

But all those together made for an odd dream.

And now a slapped together blog.

So it worked.

Today we are heading down town to a Geek Craft Fair. The pictures for the event had a Wonder Woman piece that I am hoping to pick up. And if I'm lucky there will be a great idea for a blog for tomorrow there as well. Always looking. Even when I'm awake.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Who Do You Believe?

It is just going to come down to "who do you believe?" That's generally the bottom line for everything though, right? Who or what do you believe and how firmly entrenched are you in that belief?

I watched and listened to the open session testimony of James Comey yesterday. Depending on who you watched afterward Trump is either FULLY VINDICATED! or IN BIG TROUBLE MISTER! I think it's the same as it was before. He's shady as fuck and it won't matter because Republicans hold the majority in both houses of Congress know...reasons...

Those reasons actually make me crazy. As well as the fact that I can right now on my Facebook feed read an Op-Ed about why Comey's testimony showed clear obstruction and also how it showed there was no obstruction at all. How Trump is clearly vindicated because Comey did tell him that he wasn't personally under investigation and how Comey told him he wasn't currently under investigation which clearly means that he assumed he would be at some point in the future.

Add that to the usual level of frustration when each Senator had to ask the same questions as the last one because they needed the news clip for their re-election campaign. Which then led to missed opportunities on behalf of the Democrats and another round of "but her emails" from the Republicans. Though it was through that round of "but her emails" that one of the most interesting points came up, for me, which was of course not followed up on because they weren't actually listening to learn but whatever...

So anyway, here was my takeaway question for Mr. Comey, (I'm using quotes because I'm pretending to be Senator Mastenbrook from the Great State of Paying the Fuck Attention not quotes because I'm going to pull the exact words Comey had said earlier)

"You stated earlier that you considered calling for a special counsel in the Clinton email investigation after President Clinton met privately with Loretta Lynch and also because she urged you to use to word "matter" instead of "investigation" that's correct?"


"And you followed that up with saying the reason you chose not to was because the FBI had already completed their investigation and found there to be no criminality. Correct?"


"And that by bringing in a special counsel there would be the appearance of criminality and even though they would also find no case there it would take another year to 18 months to release that information?"

"Yes. That's what I said."

"You also stated that the reason you released your memos to your friend to send to the press was your hope that they would trigger a special counsel?"


"Can you answer why you are not concerned with the appearance of a criminal investigation in to Mr. Trump?"

"I'm afraid I cannot answer that in open session...."

THAT'S WHAT I WANT PEOPLE TO DO! Listen to what is being asked. Listen to what he is saying. Listen to what he isn't saying. Then ASK FUCKING FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS! It makes me crazy. Not crazy like McCain and whatever the fuck he was trying to do, but crazy nonetheless.

My personal opinion of Comey is that he is a boy scout. It was reaffirmed yesterday. I did not like the way he handled the conclusion of the Clinton investigation, with his little "careless" press conference. I thought it was inappropriate. But I think it's his very boy scout nature that led him to do it. I think he saw something shady in what happened but not illegal. He didn't trust HRC's reasoning for using the personal servers, he did not like the queasy feeling Lynch gave him by asking him to use to word "matter", he thought President Clinton getting on that plane was flat out wrong. But nothing he had showed any sort of criminal offense. So being a boy scout he wanted to get the opinion out there that it wasn't illegal but that didn't make it right. He found no reason to "lock her up" but he also didn't like what was there. Boy scout.

I don't think he should have done it. But I'm no boy scout. I'm a pragmatist and I believe that HRC would have been hands down and heads up a better choice than the Twitterer in Chief. Which brings us back to the boy scout.

After he was fired he would have gone away fairly quietly, I believe, except Trump couldn't just fire him and move along. He had to demean him as well. That's Trump's way. So he tried to say he wasn't good at his job, that people who worked for him didn't like him, that they also weren't doing a good job. And well, that didn't sit well with the boy scout. And when Trump tweeted about tapes the boy scout thought, "TAPES!" Or "Oh lordy, I hope there are tapes." And then put out his side of the story as bait. Which worked. Now we have a special counsel.

Now a day after the testimony Trump is trying to play both sides of the transcript. We are supposed to believe anything that Comey said that shows Trump in a good light and disregard anything that shows him in a bad one. But it doesn't work that way. Comey is a boy scout. He does not give a fuck about your good lights or your bad.

I don't like the way he handled the Clinton investigation. I thought the press conference was out of bounds. I thought the announcement two weeks before the election on re-opening the case was outrageous considering he had done a thorough investigation and found nothing just a few months earlier. Considering they were already looking in to the Trump campaign and Russia and he said nothing. All of that together makes me not care for Comey. BUT I see why he does what he does. He spoke out in the press conference because he believed that though not criminal Clinton was wrong. He spoke out again because he believed that re-opening a closed case was information that was necessary to reveal. He did not speak out about Trump/Russia because it was still early in the investigation and he did not feel there was enough information to be released.

I see why he does what he does. Because he's a boy scout.

Now ask yourself, what is Trump? Would you describe him the same way?

Who do you believe?