This is my favorite picture of me with the things that make me happy here on the north shore of Long Island: our backyard in Summer, a glass of wine, a newly-found Blue Jay feather, and Lickety.

Dear Ones, you knew you’d have to read these words sooner or later:

Lickety died, here at home, on Sunday, Feb. 9. He’s buried in a spot just behind the chairs in this photo.

On Saturday morning, Feb. 8, Lickety had a seizure under the dining room table.  We wrapped our sweet boy in a blankie and went straight to the vet’s office. It was 9:30am. We were ready to say good-bye, but Lickety wasn’t having it. While the vet examined him, Lickety roused himself and seemed more alert than he’d been in days. He paced the floor, stalking the examination room as if looking for an escape.

So the vet tested Lickety with a bowl of special high-calorie food, which Lickety gobbled down and asked for more. This made the vet think that Lickety was pretty perky and had more time left, and he advised us to take our boy home. He assured us that Lickety was not in pain, but warned us that “It’s going to be roller coaster, but he might have another month left.”

We bought a month’s supply of special food and took him home.

Lickety never ate another morsel of the stuff. On Saturday night he had another seizure, and was knocked out for about an hour. The vet explained that old, sick cats take a while to recover from these neural events but we shouldn’t panic, that eventually Lickety would come back to “normal”. So we put a blanket over him and waited, and he did come back, to almost “normal”.

However, he looked weak on Sunday morning, even though he joined the other cats for breakfast, as usual (although he didn’t eat), and he sat on my lap, as usual, while top Cat and I read the Sunday paper.

After lunch, while Lickety was walking out of the living room, he fell down and couldn’t get up. It didn’t look like another seizure; it looked like Lickety was simply running out of energy. I sat with him until he got the strength to pick himself up, and he wobbled into the den.

That’s when Lickety settled in under the coffee table there, and went to sleep.

In the late afternoon, he woke up all of a sudden and had a rather big seizure, and this time he didn’t come back to anything near “normal”. He seemed to be in a daze, his breathing was fast and shallow, his eyes staring at something that was not in the room. I laid him down on a fluffy blanket that he liked and put him back under the coffee table. I was lying down on the floor next to him, stroking his head, talking to him, telling him that we loved him, and that it was OK to go.

After a few hours, he jerked awake, raised his head a little, drew himself in as if he were curling up to go to sleep, and exhaled. His body went limp in my hands, and he was dead. It was 7:32 PM.

I don’t recommend this kind of home death for every cat. Death is hard, and slow. But with Lickety, I didn’t rush him to the emergency vet when we knew he was dying on Sunday because he had convinced me that he did not want to spend his last moments of life in a hospital, having made such a show of being a strong kitty at the vet’s office and hoodwinking us into taking him home.

I believe that this is the death that Lickety wanted. I’ve had a lot of cats, and I’ve seen cats die in many ways, from heart attacks in the living room to dropping dead under my kitchen table to the preferred last visit to the vet, to stuff you don’t want to know about. And you all, I know,  have a sense about what your beloved animal companions need and want at the end of their lives. So, I’m trusting my instinct on this.

Death is such a huge thing that even when a small, frail kitty dies, it rips a huge hole in reality. We had a dead cat in our den, and the whole house seemed off its axis. Top Cat and I were numb, too numb to cry, so we covered our dear boy with a linen napkin and made martinis. And then we made some more martinis.

We buried him the next morning.

This is one of the reasons that I love Twitter. This (above) came up in the tl at just the right time.

So, as you know, life goes on. And on. And on.

When I die, I want people to be absolutely miserable for about 24 hours, and then I want them to remember me and laugh. Really big laughs.

So:

 

And, oh yeah: Fuck Trump.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

XXOO

 

 

 

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Thank you for checking back, Dear Readers. Our boiler is fixed but now it’s Saturday and I have a date with some Korean pastries and ginger honey tea this afternoon so I must run, but here’s your weekly newsfeed.

Fuck Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Dear Readers —

Today’s blog will be late due to our boiler being broken and it’s too damn cold in the house to type. The guys are here fixing things now, but I’m heading out to a friend’s warm house to play with kittens and concoct a pitcher of Sangria to go along with all the cuteness.

Check back later tonight, or tomorrow morning. I’ll be back when the ice on the inside of our den windows melts.

Vivian

 

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My bad mood started on January 17, 2017.

 

Now that the gas giant who calls himself POTUS has been given free rein by the Republicans to make America the  kind of shithole country that actually deserves to have Trump as president, it looks to me as if we are well and truly fucked.

And since the goddam Democrats can’t even run a dinky caucus right, it looks to me as if Trump will cruise to another term.

I hope this is the end of fucking Iowa, who claims that they deserve to go first in the primaries because their citizens are so above-average in political awareness, such as this:

So she asked if she could change her caucus vote. Because even though she supported him, she did not know he was gay and she didn’t want “that” in the White House. My other complaint is: Shit, girl: how can you go out in public without even combing your hair??

 

I’m in a bad mood. I might be in a better mood tomorrow and I might post the story I was planing on telling today, but then again, if Trump is still president when I wake up tomorrow I might just say fuck it again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone.

BTW, can anybody from Australia explain this to me, please?:

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There are two new things in my life since last Friday:  I’ve added weight lifting to my daily gym workout, and I have become 100% addicted to Twitter.

I get it now, why people are always checking their phones. It seems there are tons of people out there who share your obsession (whatever that obsession is, birdhouse building, knock-knock jokes, cute Koreans) but they are ten times funnier and filthier than you and you can’t wait to read what they will come up with next. I check Twitter way too many times a day, and when I do, I’m scrolling for at least half an hour. I love Twitter.

Once in a while something in your feed will trend and then everything explodes. It’s like being at a party with a thousand people, all of you screaming THIS IS SO COOL!!

I spent a lot of time on Twitter this past week because it was blowing up every day because some particularly cute Koreans were in America for the Grammies on Sunday night:

And then on Tuesday night, they were on TV again, on James Cordon’s Late Late Show:

The bare feet got a lot of attention; funny, filthy attention.

So after the show, one of BTS’s fans, which are known collectively and individually as ARMY, tweeted that since James Cordon has always been a great supporter of BTS, ARMY should thank him by donating to his favorite charity. She name-checked Magic Breakfast, an organization in London that provides free breakfasts for poor British schoolchildren, and in two days BTS ARMY from 54 countries had donated enough money to buy 36,271 breakfasts.

It’s nice to know that our dirt-bag president hasn’t ruined all of Twitter. I’m not sure the same can be said about what he has done to our country.

A while ago, a Dear Reader asked me about the ChrisHanuKwanSolstice card that I sent out this past holiday season.

She asked me how I got the background so sparkly — was it paint? Or a filter?

This is a good week to answer her question, since I’ll do anything to avoid discussing how the Republicans are destroying our democracy. There will be plenty of time for that later, as we survey the smoldering ruins and look into Canadian citizenship.

My first idea for the ChrisHanuKwanSolstic card was to photograph the snow-white book against a nifty map of the constellations that I have:

But no, that background was too busy. So I tried going with the classic, auction-house catalogue style of nothing but a velvety black background:

The problem was that this did to look very ChrisHanuKwanSolstice-y. I wanted sparkle!

So the next day I went out in search of glitter. Yeeesh. Michael’s arts and crafts store has a lot of glitter to choose from. This is not necessarily a good thing.

America, are we putting too much emphasis on glitter in our scrapbooking??

I bought the most elegant glitter I could find and did my best to be-dazzle the scene:

No. No way. Nope. NO.

I carefully gathered up all that glitter and put it back in the jar. If anyone wants some elegant colorless glitter, let me know.

I next fiddled with some lights I have.

Back-lit:

Front lit:

I even tried using a blue filter:

THEN I had a dream, and the dream told me to poke holes in the velvety black background. Literally. Poke holes.

So I randomly poked holes into the heavy, velvety black paper I used as the background. I actually forget what I used to poke the holes; maybe it was a Korean chopstick?

This is my set-up, in the window-seat of my dining room:

Daylight is shining through the holes I poked into the backdrop.

I got this:

Meh. It could use some color, don’t you think? So, I used a blue filter:

Then I heard a voice, and it was complaining that there was no easy way to get this photo to sparkle, it was going to take some old-fashioned hand work that was going to be very annoying.

I took a string of tiny colored lights, and poked tiny bulbs through the tiny holes that I had previously poked. This is the back of it:

And by then it was night, so only the colored lights showed up when I photographed the front:

 

This is it with correct lighting, so the front of the snow castle isn’t in shadow:

The next morning, the sun rose and I had daylight poking through the holes that didn’t have a colored light poking through it:

And that’s how I got both white and colored lights in the background of my ChrisHanuKwanSolstice card.

I think the moral of todays blog post is, If At First You Don’t Succeed, Just Poke It.

Time for the usual round up.

Ted Lieu is the Democrat representing California’s 33rd congressional district.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. We know what the verdict is going to be; let’s not obsess over it. Let’s take comfort knowing that history will look back on these shit bag Republicans and hold them accountable for perverting the constitution and for being the biggest ass-wipes in American history.

XXOO

 

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First, a quick update on Lickety, who is sitting on my lap as I type this.

He’s slowing down a bit these days but his heart is still pure Lickety.

He still loves to eat his breakfast and dinner, loves to sit on laps, and loves to announce when it’s time for his favorite snack of cream cheese.

So yes, his cancer is making him weaker by the day, but he’s still able to jump up on his favorite couch cushion and still able to be annoying. So he’s still 100% Lickety.

In other cat news, I was cat-sitting my neighbor’s herd of three kitten siblings who are UNBEARABLY CUTE. The all love water, so when I was filling up their water bowl and they heard the kitchen faucet go on, they all did this:

 

 

YOU ARE WELCOME.

Now, back to our regular programming.

I have not listened or watched much of the impeachment trial in the Senate because although the Democrats have put on a brilliant and water-tight case, we all know that the Republican fucks will vote Not Guilty. So it’s just too demoralizing to get involved, and my morale is in too precarious a condition to hear GOP voice.

Thank you, everyone for your feedback re: facelifts last week. I haven’t gotten one yet, but I haven’t decided NOT to get one yet, either. I was too busy being miserable.

After I blogged last week about how shitty it feels to be 64, I laid down on the couch and had a good cry, the kind where you sob as if your dog died and, in fact, I haven’t cried like that since my dog died. Also I was having a really bad hair day, letting a short ‘do’ grow out and it’s at an in-between frowzy stage so basically I look a lot like The Duchess of Cornwall these days…

She’s probably a nice lady and is good at talking dirty to Prince Charles and we support that but I’d rather look like Diana.

… which would make anyone feel suicidal so I stayed on the couch feeling dog-less and Cornwallish for the rest of the afternoon. When Top Cat came home from work I burst into tears again and for a man who has never seen me cry like that, he was a real champ. He gave me a big long hug and a huge martini, and I sat in the kitchen and watched while he made me a homemade pizza, my go-to cure for whatever ails me. I tried to help, but while chopping onions I cut myself very badly and since then, I have changed the bandaids on the wound without looking at it because it makes me sick to see blood so that has given me another good think about whether I’m woman enough for a facelift.

Dear Reader Pat commented last week that I should be grateful to get old because it’s a condition denied to many, but when your parents told you to eat your damn broccoli because there were starving people in Africa, did that make you suddenly love broccoli?

Dear Reader Leslie had some good words about owning your face, with a shout-out to Georgia Okeefe, who went au natural ’til her death at the age of 200. Wait. She was only 98. She justy looked 200. No sunscreen back then. Georgia Okeefe was 64 in 1951 and I tried to find a photo of her, but all I could come up with is this one, taken when she was 44:

Well, she can get away with that because she’s Georgia Okeefe, but I’m a lowly watercolorist** (see asterisk below) and I like lipstick and tamed eyebrows and will probably wear makeup until I drop dead.

BUT, while I might get a facelift, I can be like like Georgia in that I will never dye my hair. I’m a stickler about that. How can we make gray hair chic and cool if many of us still cover it up? So let’s Stay the Gray!! Who’s with me?!

Me with my dog that died in 2013. I’m 57. Boogie Girl was not a cuddler. I want to wear my hair long again, no matter how many months I have to look like the Duchess of Cornwall to get there.

Next item on the agenda: I’m all for a stint in the local rehab (Thanks, Dear Reader Penny! I could use a 30-day vacation!). However, my BFF has lung cancer and when she’s having a bad day and she calls me up and says Get over here, I’m opening a bottle of pinot and we’re binge watching Grace and Frankie, I gotta be there for my girl. But I’ll keep the rehab suggestion in my back pocket, in case I decide not to get a facelift and want to look years younger by being BORING.

Dear Reader Alex reminded me that a possible side effect of getting a facelift is dying on the operating table and I like a girl who can bring on the morbid. Alex, You Are My People, and I thank you.

Alex reminds me that I could also bite the dust from falling down the stairs in my house. I could hand in my lunch bucket while picking out produce at the Piggly Wiggly.  The next time I drink a huge martini and chop onions and slice open a blood vessel, it might be a carotid and BOOM I’m on the wrong side of the grass. You never know.

But the odds are good that I’ll survive a facelift.

Besides, I can’t die because I’m with Dear Reader Marilyn: We aren’t hopping on the last rattler until we see Trump hounded out of office and all the Trump waste product children shamed, jailed, and destitute. Including Barron.

Dear Reader Melissa goes further and seeks for divine intervention that will get rid of Mike Pence to boot and make Nancy Pelosi, the great Speaker of the House and next in line of succession, the President of the United States, and you know who’s had a facelift and is no weak-willed conformist to soul-destroying standards of  beauty?

NANCY FUCKING PELOSI.

I rest my case.

**Dear Readers Adrienne and Jeanie wonder when I will paint again. To tell the truth, I only started painting because I had books to illustrate. I’m not the kind of painter who does it for my own enjoyment because unless I’m illustrating something, I can’t think of things to paint. So here’s what: if you, Adrienne, and you, Jeanie, and anyone else, has a request for something they would like to challenge me to paint, I will be happy to consider it. Those old watercolor tutorials were fun to do and I’m looking to add more fun into my life.

Lastly, my Dryanuary lasted all last year’s week and I would have been totally miserable if I had not taken the excellent suggestion of Dear Readers Jeanie and Mae and read Pachinko. What a fabulous book! It’2 485 pages and it kept me busy all week! Who knew that I, Vivian Hater-of-Novels Swift, would devour 485 pages and wish for 485 pages more? Of a novel??? I am grateful to you, ladies, for bringing that sweet misery to me. It was a gloriously terrible reading experience and if you’ve read the book, you know what I mean. Thank you.

Well, it’s Friday and Top Cat needs company for his end-of-the-work-week cocktail hour and I love Top Cat and it’s sad to drink alone**, so I’ll be on the verge of rehab again tonight. Don’t hate me because I’m a good wife.

** It’s actually not sad to drink alone. I’ve done it plenty and every time, I’ve wondered why everyone thinks it’s sad. But I’m also very OK eating alone in restaurants and going to the movies alone so, there’s a pattern there. I can’t stand people.

I hope all of you readers will ignore the impeachment, take a break from the wildfires, push all thoughts of Megxit or Brexit out of your minds, and enjoy your Friday evening — and this, the funniest thing that I found on the internet this week:

Still makes me laugh.

Have a great weekend, Dear Ones.

XXOO

And, oh yeah. Fuck Trump. (Dedicated to Kate, who left a long and heartfelt comment about the lifting of faces last week. Thank you.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So this is how my Dryanuary is going:

Last Saturday was so mild here on the north shore of Long Island that Top Cat and I took his convertible with the top down to our favorite beach and we did our belated Winter Solstice Happiness ceremony. That’s not ginger ale in my glass. You can’t toast the Winter Solstice with ginger ale. Duh.

Yesterday was my birthday and I was for sure NOT going to spend the day sober so, again, my cup did not runneth over with ginger ale.

Two out of seven ain’t bad. Although I could use me some of this today:

The famous Korean Hangover Soup, which everyone in Korea has their own special recipe for. The fact that they have such a thing is, to me, more proof that it must be a shit load of fun being Korean.

Lately, it has not been a ton of fun being me. I do not like getting old, nope, not one bit, and I don’t have a single good thing to say about it. Even if Trump were to die tomorrow, the fact is that the future would still look bleak for yours truly. In a mere six years I will be 70 and that’s if I’m LUCKY. I mean, what can suck worse than that? It’s a wonder that I’m not mainlining vodka 24/7.

But I’m not going to whine about it here. I’m here today to tell you a story.

I have a friend who for the last five years has been complaining about her weight. She’s about 70 – 100 pounds too heavy for her height and when we get together she usually complains about how everything makes her feel terrible about her body and she’ll say to me, It must be so nice to  be skinny.

Some of you readers might remember that six years ago I changed my diet (I stopped eating cake and potato chips for dinner) and started going to the gym and I lost 30 pounds. This is a picture of Fat Me:

This is me, 30 pounds lighter:

I prefer 30-pounds-lighter me.

Well, this time when my friend said something to me about being thin, I said to her, I have to admit, it’s awesome. She wasn’t expecting that.

I told her that if she really wants to get rid of the extra weight, she deserves to experience for herself the difference it would make in her life. I said that we’re all going to die but nobody should die never knowing what it would feel like to be her best self. (I’m not saying that say friend is not her best self now; in fact, she has a great career that I envy. But she is ALWAYS talking about her weight and I know it’s an issue that makes her unhappy.)

I told her that if she can’t diet, for god’s sake get the gastric bypass surgery. I always say that if you have a problem that money will solve, SPEND THE MONEY.

She made an appointment with a gastroenterologist the next day.

I listened to my own advise about solving the best-self problems that money will solve and I made an appointment with a plastic surgeon to talk about getting a facelift.

Yes, I did.

The hardest part about talking with a plastic surgeon about getting a facelift is when he makes you hold a mirror up to your face and you have to tell him what don’t like. These days, I don’t look at myself in the mirror much, and I keep the drapes drawn in my house because light is not my friend. In the plastic surgeon’s office, the lights were really bright, and the mirror was really big.

Turns out that my brow line is still pretty good and he’ll leave that alone, but he will lift my eyes and the bottom half of my face and tighten my neck. It will cost $19,000.

Saying you’re going to get a face lift, and getting a face lift require two different mind sets and I’m still working on the latter. It’s also a lot of money, but do you really want to bargain-shop a face lift? (The answer is No.)

I would look a while lot better with a tighter face, but it’s surgery, with cutting and stitches and recovery time, and I am a huge coward when it comes to pain, although I was told that the pain will be minimal. Minimal compared to what, I don’t know. But then I think about turning 70, and how much better I will look at 70 if I get a face lift now (have you seen Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in Grace & Frankie???) and I feel like getting it done tomorrow, which makes me a bit queasy because of the cutting and the stitches.

And then I think about turning 70 and things get ugly. Entropy, our sun going all red giant, the end of all life, the pointlessness of it all. The usual.

Since the universe is going to deny me ever having a Korean husband (on account of the one that I already have who I like quite a lot), the least it can do is let me have a face lift, right?

Please let me know if you have had work done, and your advise.

On a related topic (the topic being Stuff That I Think About When I’m Not Thinking About Dying or Koreans), there’s this:

 

 

International climate change activist Greta Thunberg has a new, affectionate honor. The charismatic activist has had a “gritting” truck named after her in Scotland: “Gritter Thunberg.”

Naming trucks that clear snow and spread abrasives in Scotland is popular, with contests for the most clever name, and Greta’s was chosen by school kids. Some previous winners include “Spreaddy Mercury,” “Gritney Spears,” “Sir Salter Scott,” “Brad Grit,” and “Gritty Gritty Bang Bang.”

Awwwwwww, that’s really cute. Thumbs up, Scotland.

And now for the regularly scheduled Fuck Trump and All Republicans programming:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to everyone who sent birthday wishes. I might loathe getting another year older, but it means a lot to know that you’re rooting for me to have a few minutes of joy on a dark, dark day.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

 

 

 

 

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This is dedicated to Dear Readers Thea and John, who took The Rock for a spin in Southern California last month. You can read all about their adventures and the latest fascinating incidents in my molehill life in a post that immediately follows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Australia is a big-ass country:

This is how much of Australia is on fire (as of the morning of Thursday, Jan 9):

OK, you probably know that these maps are a bit misleading. The fires are not drawn to scale and the Mercator projection has never been accurate since it was invited in 1569. But still, a LOT of Australia is on fire.

For the record, the USA is 3.797 million square miles and Australia is 2.97 million square miles. The area that has been burned Down Under is 32,4000 square miles, about one-third the size of the American state of Oregon, which is a big-ass state.

These fires are 80% larger than the devastating 2019 California fires and 5,000 sure miles larger than the sickening Amazon fires.

A billion animals have been destroyed. This means that some insects, plants, and animals found only in teeny little bits of Australia may go extinct.

These six babies were rescued in South Australia, and brought into a home in Cudlee Creek, near Adelaide, for safekeeping while their habitat burned:

Koalas are not endangered as a species, but how can you, now that you’ve seen this photo, not want to do something to help all our dear Australian furry, feathered, horned, scaled, and slime-covered fellow creatures?

I recommend donating to fire companies, many of which are 100% staffed by volunteers. The only one that I have found that is easy to navigate for Americans is for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (Sydney is located in NSW), here. $100 Australian is a mere $68 American.

We love you, Australia.

Now for something completely different.

So I go to my gym, as usual, last Monday. WOW! The parking lot is PACKED with cars, and its a traffic jam with people heading into the Hot Yoga studio on one side of my gym and the kick-boxing workout room on the other side. I go into my gym. I have never seen the place so full of people as it was on that day. PACKED.

And then I remember, oh yeah, it’s the first regular get-back-to-normal day of 2020 and everyone who made a resolution to get fit and lose weight is showing up.

The next day, Tuesday,  I go back to my gym, as usual. I find a parking spot near the door — lucky me. I go inside.  AND THE PLACE IS NEARLY EMPTY.

To all you who did a day at the gym and said Fuck it, I’m kinda cute when I’m fluffy, You Are My People.

I get it. Top Cat and I made a pledge to do the Dryanuary this month, when you’re supposed to go the whole month of January without drinking alcohol. Why? Because:

I did Thursday, Jan 2 dry as a bone. Then it was the weekend with long-standing social obligations and I love my drinking buddies yadda yadda yadda so I put off starting Dryanuary in earnest on Monday, Jan 6.

I lasted until Tuesday, Jan 7.

 

Me and alcohol, we’re in a rut. A loving, fun, exciting rut but still, a rut.

I just realized that “rut” is one of those words the starts to sound weird the more you hear yourself say it.

It all started in 2016.

Since my last book was published, Spring of 2016, I haven’t done much writing. I’ve been farting around. Here’s the list:

I got a dog.

I took two college semesters of American Sign Language. Turns out that I don’t really like Deaf Culture so that’s why I never blogged about it.

I got a part-time job at my favorite store, Home Goods, for the holiday season. I thought it would be fun. Nope. I forget; did I blog about that?

I volunteered to run a used book store to benefit the local library here on the north shore of Long Island for two years.

I organized a huge fund-raiser to benefit the local library here on the north shore of Long Island.  Eight months of torture.

I redecorated the house.

I rescued stray cats.

I traveled.

I made castles.

I haven’t been in a good mood for about three years.

I started drinking martinis again.

I had stopped drinking martinis in 2003 for a good reason. And then, in 2018 Top Cat’s kids started having babies and I woke up one day and realized that I’m married to a grandfather.

Well, that took me by surprise.

So I started drinking more martinis.

Anyway, now I’m back on the Dryanuary bandwagon — 2 days so far. Wish me luck

I will need all the strength I have to get through January because I’m going to have my Beatles birthday next week. I turn 64 on the 16th and friends, I am pissed. But let’s discuss this next week, when I have more room to rant.

One of the reasons I had to postpone my Dryanuary this past weekend was because I had to celebrate the return of The Rock to the north shore of Long Island!

Quick recap: The Rock comes from the town of Stromness on the main island of Orkney. I found it there last May when Top Cat and I were in Scotland and if you remember, Top Cat and I pretty much hated the sight of each other the whole time but especially on Orkney.

The Rock is part of a community-wide game being played in Stromness, where painted rocks are hidden around the village and when found, the finders log it in on a Facebook page before re-hiding them. I was given permission to take The Rock home with me to photograph in Times Square and then the darling readers of this blog volunteered to take The Rock around the country.

So far it’s been to Lexington, MA; Southern New Jersey; Lansing, MI; Ann Arbor, MI; Coopersville, MI; Milwaukee, WI; Richland in eastern WA; Portland, OR; and SOCAL (Coronado, CA).

Due to my sending incorrect shipping instructions to The Rock’s wonderful host in SOCAL, Dear Reader Thea sent The Rock back to me and after this hunk of mineral from the Northern Isles and I got through all the Fàilte dhachaidh’s, we had soaked ourselves in scotch and woke up the next morning with matching tattoos and no idea how they got there.

The Rock had a great time in southern California, specifically in Coronado.

Coronado is a California resort city on a peninsula in San Diego Bay.

Hang glider? Para sail? In the talons of a ferruginous hawk making its annual migration from Canada for the Winter?

Coronado is beautiful, the surrounding area is beautiful, the weather is year-round beautiful, so The Rock got the  idea that one can become beautiful simply by being in Coronado.

Give up, Rock. You’ll never be a gem stone no matter how hard you try.

The Rock is Night Owl Rock and Coronado suited him fine..

The Rock was excited to be part of the 48th Annual Parade of Lights:

 

The grand Victorian Hotel del Coronado opened in 1888. The hotel was also home to the first outdoor electric Christmas tree in 1904.

The hotel and the hotel’s beach is where Billy Wilder filmed Some Like It Hot in 1958.

The Rock takes a selfie with Marilyn Monroe.

The Rock does a full-body squeeeeeee in the same sand!:

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego, California, United States. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths, it contains museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

I think The Rock is mocking me because I wrote a book about nine of the most thought-provoking greens in the world and I forgot to include the Botanical Garden in Balboa Park:

I think The Rock is taking notes for a book tentatively titled, I Am My Own Rock Garden.

The Rock contemplates the rockness of life:

The Rock is trying to be an enoghtengd Rock, so (somehow) The Rock convinced these nice people to do a seven-person Uttanasana:

The Rock would have taken a photo of the rare seven-person uttanasana, but The Rock doesn’t have fingers and could not work the iPhone camera. Sad!

Thank you, Dear Readers Thea and John in Coronado, California, for hosting The Rock:

You bring us. . .

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Australia, we love you.

P.S. BTS is releasing a new album on Feb. 21 after a seven-week rollout that includes yet-to-be-announced events in London, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, and New York. If you know a BTS fan, they are losing their minds right now. Be warned.

 

 

 

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Here’s my first great life lesson of 2020 that I want to share with you: you and your best friend can’t drink three bottles of champagne by yourselves.

Well, you can, but you shouldn’t. Also, you can’t. Because what you’ll end up with the next morning is one empty champagne bottle under the living room couch, one half-empty bottle left behind in the cat food bin when you were scooping out kibble for the kitties at some point in the evening, and another bottle that was half-full when you put it in the freezer to keep cold but forgot about so it exploded overnight and now it’s pretty much empty, but your freezer is full of champagne slurpee. It’s a waste of decent champagne, is what I’m saying.

The truth is, you can’t throw back like it’s 1993, and that’s OK.

That was Sunday when my BFF and I conducted our experiment with the bubbly time-travel juice. New Year’s Eve was Tuesday, which necessitated a follow-up investigation into the psycho-temporal effects of blanc-de-blancs fermentation, and Wednesday was New Year’s Day when we said Fuck it, let’s do bourbon shots.

Yesterday I woke up bright-eyed and full of reverence for the miracle of a morning-after without consequences and was good to go, but then our side of the street lost internet. In addition, it was raining. So I sat around and wondered if life was worth living.

In despair, I tried to read a book.

My BFF knows I’m hot for pretty much anyone anything Korean these days so she got us a novel about Korea to read together:

It begins with a 6-page prelude in the third person, then the real story begins in a first-person narration which I presume will carry us to the end of the book. By the third sentence the first-person narrator is taking a crap in a latrine in 1938. Her bowl movement goes on for seven sentences.

At that point, I wanted to personally shit on the book.

But I soldiered on for 36 more pages, and then I called my BFF and asked, Are we really going to read about turds?

She has a theory that the disgusting crapping sequence will be shown to be artistically necessary later in the plot (she has faith in literary fiction) and we agreed to keep reading, but not today. I’d had enough.

So I picked up the other book in my life:

This is a wonderful story about a woman who went to art school at age 64, eventually getting a master’s degree at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design when she was, I guess, 70. Before I continue, I want to assure you that Nell Painter is a thoughtful and deep-thinking writer and her book is a pleasure…sort of…to read.

What I dislike about her story is the stuff about art. If you ever wondered why artists have to go to art school, this book explains why; it seems that, these days, artists have to spend years in art school in order to un-learn an inherent instinct for beauty because, these days, beauty is the death of “art”.

Once you understand that beauty is banal, you then spend years learning that only wimps make figurative art, and only illustrators *sneer* care about making a gorgeous surface. If you can make something ugly, and do it poorly, then you have what it takes to make it in the Art World.

I don’t get it, but it’s instructive to have all that explained by such a smart and dedicated lady. I appreciate her sincerity and her quest to rage against the dying of the light…but her work stinks. It’s very art-schooly. Don’t tell her I said that because I’m probably wrong, and she does have an MFA.

The good thing is that I’m on page 155 and no one has taken a dump yet, so yeah, that’s a +.

Speaking of me sounding off about art, a Dear Reader emailed me last week because she remembered that, once upon a time, I did a blog post about Illustration v. Art, and could I find it for her and I said yeah, I kind of remember that. This is all I’ve found so far, and I think it’s lame, but I’ll keep looking, Vicki.

 

Have a great weekend, my fierce Dear Ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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