Righteous Anger

Man hiding behind hair in sportswear

Friday, January 24, 2020

Today I am grateful for righteous anger.  No, I’m not talking about politics, though there is plenty to be angry about.  I’m talking about hair.  HAIR!


It is incomprehensible to me that in the year 2020 there are still students who are being told cut your hair or you can’t attend graduation.  Really?  “It’s school policy,” some idiot from the Texas school said, “it’s about the length.  It’s too long.”  Yeah right.  It’s about the length alright.  Here’s a thought. . .your rules are archaic!!!! CHANGE YOUR POLICY!  See how easy that was?


Back in my day of the Vietnam War and protestors and the Beatles (horrors) hair was a big issue.  So called draft dodgers let their hair grow down to their asses and “grown-ups” went berserk.  Why?  It’s just hair.  Symbolic maybe, but so what?


I am outraged whenever I hear that someone’s hair becomes an issue.  Last night when we were watching the news, they played the clip of that poor wrestler getting his hair cut before he could finish his match.  I cried.  A lot.  It’s HAIR!  Let him alone!


It’s the one thing that every single person in the world should be able to wear the way they want to.  If you want pink or purple or shaved or long or dreads or flat ironed it is simply no one else’s business but yours!  No one’s!  You don’t have to like it, just accept that it is none of your business.  Or mine.  Until now when I’m just plain angry!


To learn that the young men in question this time come from Trinidad, a culture where dreadlocks are very common, outrages me even more.  When our school rules. . .any school. . .do not take into consideration the customs of other nationalities or cultures then we are failing our children.  Failing!  If the dreads were on a white person would they enforce the same rule?  Are the girls allowed to have long hair?  I’m curious.


I’m not a big fan of tattoo’s and I’d probably never get one in my life.  Notice I said “probably” because I know better than to say “never”.  I go to the dermatologist regularly and that’s enough “marking” for me.  But I would never, ever, EVER judge someone for getting tattoo’s, because it’s their choice.  And some of that artwork is amazing.


It’s the same with body piercings for me.  Not gonna do it and confess to being a little distracted and sometimes skeeved out by some of them, but if it’s what you want, then go for it.  It’s your body.


We do nothing about assault weapons and some think it might be a good idea to put guns in the hands of teachers.  Really?  Yet we are afraid of dreadlocks?  It’s ludicrous! Oh, but what about the “rules” and “our policy”.   Change the rules!  Change the policy!  It’s not hard.  It’s 2020.


No one’s dreadlocks are going to hurt you.  And I am righteously angry and outraged that our society is still setting rules for what individuals should do with their own hair!  Get with the program!

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Drag Land Update

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Today I am grateful for dragon land updates.  If you have already had enough of dragons and are now sticking a fork in your eyeball because I’m bringing it up again, then go grab a coffee and watch the news!  Hah!  You’re back, right?


The youngest granddaughter showed up with her dad on Sunday, with the little black sequin purse I gave her full of a smushed coin from the Franklin Institute; a quarter which I tried to steal, but she caught me; a tiny, shiny green frog; and a bright pink toy dragon.


Seriously?  The kid shows up here with a new dragon?  She has no actual genetic connection to grandpa, the dragon whisperer, so I’m voting that nurture is at play here over nature.  What fun.


We spent a lot of time looking at the dragon/army displays.  She would touch the dragons, but wasn’t a fan of the evil looking orcs or whatnots.  She loved the catapult because it moved, but was upset when I broke the arm off of one of the army guys.  Grandpa assured her it happens all the time and he could fix it.


She liked putting her bright pink toy dragon into the display, but took it out shortly after.  No way is grandpa getting her pink dragon!  When we took a “rest” she refused the big dragon blanket, giving me a sideways glance that asked if I was insane.  Dragons are cool, but not on beds.  Who can rest under all of that fire breathing?


Little kids can really make you see things in a new way.  You know, like when the new baby first starts poking at that mole on your neck that you’ve totally forgotten about.  Or the little is one fascinated by grandpa’s hearing aids or nostril hair.  Or when a toddler flaps your turkey neck back and forth like it’s a tether ball.


But there’s not much better than putting out a display of dragons, only to have the granddaughter show up with her own bright pink dragon.  I’ll probably do at least one more dragon land update so brace yourselves.

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a dragons-most special with alina

Monday, January 20, 2020

Today I am grateful for wide-eyed-wonder.  It is Martin Luther King Day and no matter how much I say that this year I won’t bawl my eyes out, I still do.  And I have.  Several times.


Yesterday I watched the youngest granddaughter as she experienced her grandpa’s dragons for the first time.  I now see all of them. . .and her. . .in a fresh, new way.


“It’s okay,” I say.  “That big one is very, very fragile and came all the way from China.  It’s cloisonné and Grandpa’s most special dragon.”  She touches a smooth horn as though it’s hot.


“But this little one coming out of the egg is a baby and shiny and pink and you can hold it.  You won’t hurt it.”  Her eyes tell me that all is right with the world as she gently takes it, turning it over to see all sides, remarks how she loves pink, then sets it back.  Every moment with a child. . .oh Hell. . .every moment with myself. . .is a teachable moment.


I spend way too much time in despair over our country’s issues.  Hope has been elusive in my life for the last three years.  And without hope I feel lost and my spirit to fight, to educate, to move forward disappear.  I can’t let that happen.  I need to move forward.


On the early morning TV news I watched young people reciting King’s famous speech.  Boy, I’m hoping that when some of those kids find their adult voices, they remain as articulate and passionate about those words as they are now.  They were amazing.


Then later I saw two middle school choirs who joined together to try and stem the tide of separation and racism.  One is from an all Jewish school, the other from an all black school.  Looking at those hopeful faces and listening to their lifted voices sent me into more tears.  And gave me hope.


On this day, honoring Martin Luther King, who was all about hope, I want to remember that hope is out there waiting for us.  I know it’s beautiful.  I know it’s right in front of me.  I also know it’s fragile.  I must reach for it gently and hold it firmly, lest it elude me once again.


Hope is also strong, like the shiny, pink, baby dragon, seen through the wide-eyed-wonder of a child.  BING!  Heartprint!


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Eclectic Decorating

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Today I am grateful for eclectic decorating.  I have a husband.  Some of you might, too.  Some might have a wife.  Some husbands might have husbands and some wives might have wives.  Some might not be connected legally, but are inseparable emotionally and physically.  The point is, it doesn’t matter as long as you give them consideration in what your home reflects.


I love pottery, tapestry, art work, lighting and mirrors. . .as long as I don’t have to get too close to them.  The things I love are all over the house.  Ask anyone who has been here.


Himself loves medieval games, Dungeons & Dragons creatures of all ilk, including Orks, big green guys, big orange guys with weapons, and armies of beasts, some on horseback with spears, others with armor and tusks.  I think.  I’m not too sure because it isn’t my thing, it’s his.  And he loves dragons and aside from some of the more fragile ones, which are in a curio cabinet in our sunroom, most of his “loves” live full-time in the basement, with his other love. . .magic.


He goes down to visit often and paint little guys who are so small that even I don’t own enough glasses to see them.  Every so often he rises from the bowels to show me some creature or other he’s proud of, or to ask my opinion on future color choices.


A long time ago I heard a familiar spousal tape playing from many guys and gals I know.  “She has all of her stuff around everywhere. You could walk in the door and never know I lived here.”  Or, “He insists on having all of his game posters everywhere and there is no room for the paintings I love.”  It goes both ways.


Well I’m not having that anymore, because I know I’ve been guilty in the past.  That’s why at Christmas this year we had magic incorporated into the decorating theme.  But what about after?  Did our house reflect Himself?  Not too much and I felt badly.  I had an idea.


“This year, when Christmas is packed up,” I said, “we are decorating with dragons and your creatures.”   He looked at me like his hearing aids weren’t working.  But they were.  He treads slowly when I share  a decorating plan because, well, he knows me.


We had already used the new white dragons on our shelf in the kitchen and they look great.  I told him to start bringing dragons up from the basement.  “Which ones?” he asked.  I told him whichever he wants.  Another one of those looks. He brought a few up.


“More,” I said.  “We need more!”  I sent him back down and told him to think big and bold.  “I want the jute dragon, too, because our granddaughter can play with that one.”  He’s now hanging on the newel post and she loves him.


When the dragons were in place, I told him we needed castle walls or turrets or something for the dining room table.  He looked at me closely to be sure I hadn’t been captured by aliens and was now re-wired as a new me.  I assured him I meant it.  He brought up three small pieces and I said, “more. . .and bring up some more dragons to go with it and some people or whatever those armies are, too.”


He’s very linear so I needed to push him outside of his box a little bit and help with the placement, but we now have a table that reflects his passions.


And it gives me joy, too, when I catch him stopping often, to get a closer look.  He asks me if I noticed that he changed out an entire army for another one and I confess I hadn’t noticed.  It doesn’t matter.  His toys are out and if he wants to play around with switching characters out that’s okay by me.


Pottery, paintings, mirrors, dragons, armies, and whatnots are everywhere in here.  The eclectic decorating in our home might sound like a carnival fun house.  It is.  Ours.  Reflecting both of us.  What about yours?  Can guests tell who lives there by just looking around?

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Small Towns

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Today I am grateful for small towns.  I used to think the town I grew up in was small, but it turns out the town wasn’t so small as some of the minds of the residents.


Okay, before you all go ballistic, I said “SOME”.  You know who they are.  The ones who didn’t want to let one of those “shee-shee” Holiday Inn’s build a hotel in town.  Or the ones who didn’t want to have to deal with those “foreigners” from Chicago, being all touristy and clogging up the restaurants, eating up all of the tortes. . .all 25 flavors.


I have a passion for going off main roads and a long time ago, when my sister still lived in North Jersey, we would meet at a half way point for lunch.  She found a great spot in Clinton, New Jersey and we spent many hours tucked into a booth at The Clinton House.


I was feeling nostalgic for that place. . .and the divine food. . .so I suggested we meet the sister of Himself and her man there last week.  By now I suspect all holiday decorations are packed up, but we got there just in time to still see them.  There is nothing like small town decorations as witnessed by the soldiers on the bridge!  Fantastic.


I bet if I did a deep search, which I have no intention of doing, I would find I have 200 pictures of the old Clinton mill.  In every season!  Each time my sister and I met, we’d eat lunch, then walk across the bridge taking pictures of it, as we headed down the one block Main Street to poke around in little shops.  I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t tack on one of her pics to this post.  She’s way more organized than me.


After years of meeting and photographing that mill, one day we decided to do the tour.  Our aging guide was more thrilled than anyone has a right to be about an old piece of wood, or a drill, or an iron stake.


She gushed like she was showing us the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo was in the lunch room waiting for us to discuss his color choices.  She pointed out every nook and cranny and the historical significance of same.  It took forever, but we were her only tour and she told us that she wanted to give us the full treatment.  Wow.  Thanks.


When we were finally done and were walking out the door she said, “I hope you enjoyed your tour and will come back and see us soon.”  Without missing a beat, my sister said, under her breath, “I don’t think that will be necessary.”


I love the hustle and bustle where I live, but sometimes I think it would be nice to live in the center of some little burg, where everyone is in your business. . .but you can count on them, too. . .with a cute old mill, and a lady tending it who loves every minute of what she does.  You can learn a lot from small towns.  Next time I will visit the mill. Again.

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Real or Fake

a christmas boxes on chest

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Today I am grateful for the difference between real and fake.  I’m talking Christmas trees, here.  I loved a real tree until I developed asthma and we developed “old age” and could not drag that sucker in and out without certain divorce and an emergency room visit.


Now we’re fake.  All the way.  But it isn’t light.  It’s a monster.  And it wasn’t wired for lights.  I wired it myself.  That was great, until it wasn’t.  Now some of the lights went out, but they’re strapped to the branches.  Every year when we tuck it into it’s bag, I say, “I will re wire those lights over summer. . .or next year for sure.”  And do I?  Nope, we just add more loose ones.


Christmas decorations are so wonderful.  I love the extra lights and beauty of them and every year I think maybe I’ll just leave them up forever.  Then I reach the point where I would rather take a flame thrower to them than keep them up one more minute.


I run through the house ripping down garland and bows and fake poinsettias like if they don’t get gone immediately, the world will end.  This year it almost did, but that’s another sad story.


The point is, and yes, there is a point.  I’m done!  I don’t want to smell another Christmas decoration EVER.  My house is bare, my joints sore and my attitude lousy.  Himself and I still have a few things to put away and he has run those damned steps a dozen times, but the “care” we took putting everything up is gone.  Gone! We have reached the yank and shove whatever into whatever box portion of the holidays.  “Just get it to the basement,” I tell Himself.  “By Easter I’ll have it all sorted out.”


The tree headed down today, among much blue language.  Apparently, no matter if it’s fake or real, at some point a Christmas tree must be cursed at.  They expect it.


I’m happy with fake, but wish they’d come up with a lightweight one that you could set in its assigned location, then go “poof” and it would pop itself out like those old pup tents used to.  C’mon inventors.  Get on it.


I confess that I do sometimes miss the days when we’d pitch that dead-live-deader sucker, off the deck.  It shooting off dead needles like a green/brown shrapnel snow storm.  Ah, the good old days when real or fake was still a choice.

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Full Disclosure

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Today I am grateful for full disclosure.  Maybe too full.  You judge.  Or don’t judge.  Cuz we are all too judgy these days.  Or is it just me?


Himself and I were very excited about meeting his sister and her sig-other at a great mid-point restaurant for lunch today, for a belated Christmas celebration.  That meant that he and I were both getting ready to leave at the same time.  Oh boy.


I watch House Hunters International and the women are always yammering about how they MUST have TWO sinks in the master bath or they’d never be able to get ready in the morning.  Hah!  We rarely spend time at our two sinks at the same time, so I couldn’t get why it’s a big deal.  Until today.  Now we need two houses.


It takes us more effort to haul-out together than it did when we were packing up 5 kids for vacation.  Seriously.  We have become high-maintenance.


I have to use my skin lotions and potions or I’ll be able to lead a sleigh.  Then, since my eyebrows ran away, I need enough makeup to look like I have a face, but not so much that I look like Bozo.


There are the eyedrops that I now have to use four times a day; the breathing treatment for asthma; the inhaler; the nasal spray; and the futile attempt, even with three pairs of glasses and a 5X magnifying mirror to find the four-foot long chin hair that I played with while watching TV all last night, but now can’t find.


While I am going through my machinations, Himself is cutting his face off trying to shave around the bandaged holes the skin doctor dug out of him yesterday; complaining about freezing; taking Imodium (don’t ask); and saying “WHAT?” two-hundred times because he can’t hear the answers to the questions he’s asking me because he doesn’t have his hearing aids in.  The last question being, “Why are you asking me questions if you can’t hear me anyway????????!!!!!!”  Darling.


His towel is in my way, in MY sink.  I bump his head with my elbow when I’m putting schmoots on my hair.  He drops his glasses to the floor, so I pick them up.  The half-open-door hits me in the shoulder on my way down.  I remember that the same shoulder still hurts for whatever reason and now more because I’ve banged it again, so I slather on Ben Gay.  Good old Ben!  He decides he better bring a spare pair of underwear along, just in case, because of his. . .well. . .situation.


I mention that we might not know where we can pee on our way there and it’s about an hour and a half away and we are taking a new route.  So Depends, or some form thereof, enter the picture as a very-real-just-in-case option.


Both of us are in various stages of undress.  Don’t picture it.  Save yourselves.  As I’m leaning into the mirror, tweezer in hand, bitching about how I can’t hold it correctly, what with my arthritic thumb acting up, wearing the aforementioned three pairs of glasses, he is brushing his teeth. . .with the teeth in one hand and the brush in the other, water splattering everywhere.  We look in the mirror and both start to laugh.


“You remember those old Thin Man shows where Nick & Nora Charles are standing in their bathroom and she is patting her hair gently and he is straightening his bowtie?” Himself asks, loudly, because he still hasn’t got all of his parts in his ears.  I snort.  “We’re NOT them!” he says.


No kidding.  It is more difficult for us to get out of the house together than it is for the Eagles to keep their wide receivers off the disabled list.


“It’s like we are both toddlers,” I say.  “We need to carry the meds, the extra water, the snack. . .the full-on diaper bag, only it’s filled with Imodium, Depends, tooth glue, tweezers and hearing aid batteries.”


That’s full-disclosure.  Don’t be judgy.  Wasn’t this more fun than the news?  I only hope you don’t have nightmares.

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