January 2021

I’ve been reading and watching the GameStop story all week and feeling pretty damn happy about it. GameStop is a retail, bricks-and-mortar store that sells computer games to teenage boys. Most of the stores are found in malls and, as you can guess, since malls are dying and everybody can buy games on-line, GameStop, as a stock and as a business, has been in the doldrums for a few years.

It happened that some bros (also known as trolls, randos, and the poors) in a stock-trading group chat (thread) on Reddit were venting against big hedge funds, and they found out that two of them had taken out huge “shorts” on GameStop stock, betting that the value of it would fall; the further the stock fell, the more money the hedge funds would make. 

The Reddit bros decided to fuck with the hedge funds and they started buying GameStop stock in honor of its seminal importance in their wasted youth, in a classic Wall Street action known as a “short squeeze” (which usually involves institutional players, not individual traders). They were able to raise the share price by 100%, putting the hedge funds that had shorted the stock deep into debt (billions of dollars), and that, if you’ve been paying attention to the news, is huge news. 

I had something on my mind that I wanted to talk to you all about this week but first, I have to get GameStop out of my system because I love the smell of Wall Street comeuppance in the morning.  So please bear with me: 



















The Reddit bros are now targeting several other “shorted” stocks such as AMC and American Airlines, in over that could again make hedge funds lose billions. And I say YAY! There is too much money being made by people who only make bets in a market that is designed so that only they can make the bets and the money.

As of this morning (January 29, 2021) Melvin Capitol has had to recruit outside lenders for $2.75 billion to cover their GameStop losses, and Citron Research, another hedge fund that had also  shorted GameStop, has not disclosed how much they have lost but have conceded that it’s in the billions, and that its position was a 100% loss. Yay!

I hope this gives you all a serotonin rush as it did me, on this bitterly cold Friday here on the north shore of Long Island. 

The other thing that I’ve had on my mind this past week was something that I heard the comedian Kevin Hart say as he was being interviewed on Howard Stern’s radio program. He and Howard were talking about being famous, and the way fame changes life for the better or worse. Kevin talked about how, at first, being famous can bring out feelings of inadequacy — the well-known “imposter syndrome”, where people feel undeserving of success.

But Kevin’s current theory on fame and success (he’s worth $200 million, according to Wikipedia) is that he does deserve it because  he, like Howard (who is worth $650 million according to the inter webs) are part of the 1% of people who, through hard work and determination, get to be very, very good at what they do

Stop right there.

First of all, I think the actual percentage of people who are very, very good at what they do is .0001%, but the sentiment is 100% brilliant. 

Kevin Hart’s words reminded me of a similar lesson I learned, way back when I was a freelance magazine writer in the 1990s, when I was interviewing the brilliant author Lawrence Weschler for an article. Weschler has written five of my favorite six books and I finagled my position as a freelancer to pitch a story about him to the Westchester Times because I wanted to meet him, and so there I was, sitting in his living room, drinking tea, while he talked about his life.

He told me a story about how he was able to introduce two of his friends to each other, the friends being the painter David Hockney and the magician/historian/actor/artist Ricky Jay. Both men are highly acclaimed and supremely accomplished in their fields, and when they met they got along like, well, two things that get along really well. I can’t think of a metaphor. Gin and tonic? Sad songs and a good cry? One diatomic molecule and another diatomic molecule in a sigma bond?

Lawrence Weschler told me that when Ricky Jay thanked him for bringing David Hockney into his life, Jay said, “This is the best thing about being really good at what you do: You get to meet other people who are really good at what they do.” 

That thought stuck with me as being perhaps the simplest recipe for How To Get Through Life, and at the same time the finest explanation of How To Avoid Dealing With Idiots and Morons

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that as you up your game, in life or in your job, you spend less time hanging out with stupid people and more time being energized, challenged, inspired, and appreciated by people who are smarter than you, which ups your game even more, and makes it even less likely that you will ever have known a Trump supporter.

If I had kids, that’s the one piece of advise I would give: Whatever you do, work hard and become the best at what you do. 

Because then you’ll get to meet other people who are the best at what they do, and your life will be enriched and rewarding and better than mediocre and you’ll marry someone I don’t have to worry about.

Speaking of better than mediocre, let’s remember that this is true of America, no matter how much it irritates the Republicans:








22 Executive Orders in the first week:










This (below) is funnier when you realize the man replying to Donald Trump Jr. is the former president of Estonia:

But not everything has to be about politics. Sometimes the good stuff is about life in Australia, and wine:



















Fill up your wine glasses, Dear Readers, and you know that spoon that you dislike for no reason? Throw it out. Because here’s more words of wisdom for a better life from none other than Mick Jagger:

You wake up one morning and you look at your old spoon, and you say to yourself, “Mick, it’s time to get a new spoon.” And you do.

 Have a great weekend, everyone. Enjoy your new spoons.


Read more

Zippity doo-dah, zippy yay, my o my, what a wonderful non-Trump day.

Who else is still celebrating? Are we all still walking around in a happy daze, with a song in our heart and a spring in our step and a brain full of light and joy? OMG, how good does it feel to say to yourself, “Trump is done, over, out“? It’s an instant high every time I remind myself that  America is, officially, and finally, Trump-free. 

Now that things are approaching normal once again, and we don’t have to harden ourselves to do mental battle with the every-day CRAZY that we’ve been assaulted with for the past four years, we have to spend more time doing the things that bring beauty and pleasure to our lives.

As for me, it’s sunny and cold today here on the north shore of Long Island, so I’m going to go ice skating.  Later, I plan to read some poetry (poetry!). I like making complicated paper snowflakes and I’ve “pinned” instructions from Pinterest that I’m eager to try out. I’m ready to learn how to make pizza dough from scratch. I might even start being nice to people, but don’t count on it. 

Today, on the second day of the Joe Biden presidency, is a good day to paint a cat.

Meet Mehitabel, from Portland Oregon, courtesy of our Dear Reader Vicki:

 I had the pleasure to meet Mehitabel a few  years ago when I was doing a book tour for one of my books and Vicki graciously showed me the sights of The Rose City (the city is packed full of public parks beautifully landscaped with roses, my favorite flower).

As you can see, Mehitabel was not a cuddle bug. She kept her distance and did not like having her photo taken, but Vicki managed to get this picture that captures her personality. She’s looking a bit miffed, and I swear her lips are pursed and she’s about to go “Tsk tsk tsk” at this invasion of her privacy. My challenge will be to get that glance and that attitude in her portrait.

The other challenge is that the photo is a  little blurry, and small, and I’ve already tried to paint her once before (it turned out bad, very bad), but I’m going to dive in and give it another shot. 

To begin, I’m going to give Mehitabel a wash of white paint…”prepping” the canvas, kind of.

The most important detail of Mehitabel’s face is her mouth; that’s where her entire expression is contained. So I’m going to start there, hoping that I can get that right.

She’s a gray cat, which is fun for me because I really enjoy mixing my own gray colors:

Gray is a rich and expressive color — I love it.

Nocturne: Blue and Silver – Chelsea 1871 James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1834-1903 Bequeathed by Miss Rachel and Miss Jean Alexander 1972 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T01571


James Mcneill Whistler, “Arrangement in Grey and Black”, 1871, in the Musee d’Orsay, Paris. This picture is, in the words of Wikipedia, “the most important work of American art outside the US.”

Even though she’s only a pencil outline, I can see Mehitabel glaring at me:

Let’s make her glare in full color:









She’s almost done. . . 

I have to fix the divot under her left ear and add some highlight to her eyes.




I hope that all the energy I used to spend every day loathing Trump will be turned into something productive, like organizing my bookshelves, or clearing out the basement, or folding last week’s laundry, or learning Korean. (I just found out that there are 48 ways to conjugate a Korean verb, and so far, I only know 17 and to tell you the truth, I barely know all 17, so I have hours and hours of studying ahead…)

Of course there’s still the 2022 congressional elections to fret about, and there’s plenty of crazy and evil Republicans to keep track of, but let’s get to that next week.

For now, for this week, let’s all take a deep breath of pure, clean, non-Trump air, and congratulate ourselves for having made it to this moment, to the return of science and sanity and service to the White House.

I wonder if there are any memes for that. . . 






This was dated January 19, 2021:


When Pence tried to brag about his “accomplishments” as Vice President:

Counting down the hours until Joe Biden was sworn in:

Moving day at Trump’s White House:


Speaking of the Trump legacy. . . 



At the Washington Monument, the president-elect and the vice president-elect paid tribute to the400,000 Americans who have died from Covid:


And then, finally, The Day:

















These are the New York Times on the past three Thursdays:

Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. It’s the first Trump-free Friday night in four years!!!


























Read more




I have slept soundly for the past three days which is unusual, because I normally spend 2 – 3 hours in the middle of every night wide awake, doom scrolling Twitter (because Trump is still president) or binge-watching K Pop music videos in an attempt to postpone the inevitable entropy that will be the death of every living and non-living morsel in the universe including, most tragically, Yours Truly. 

But lo, these past three nights I have slept the sleep of redwood trees and blue whales, west winds and rainbows. It’s been a good week here in the U S of A.







Since last November, when this cartoon was originally published, things have gotten a lot less metaphorical:


Do you remember this guy from last week’s post about the MAGA rioters at the Capitol? (Again, please  note the two hand guns tucked into his jeans.)

Turns out that tucking dangerous weapons into his pants was Kevin’s “thing”. This story is totally true (I fact checked it):

What this little article doesn’t mention is that when Kevin’s taser shot him in the balls, Kevin wee’d himself, and he died in a pool of his own urine. (Getting to write this last sentence has been one of the greatest joys of my life.)

Knowing that this is how history will remember Kevin Greeson of Alabama . . . 

. . . is something that we should all treasure.


Rumor has it that Ivanka Trump is thinking that she still has a shot at a political career of her own, and hadsans to run for higher office (she wants to be the first female president) but you have to wonder if her “brand” can survive these headlines: 

Twitter didn’t take kindly to the Potty Princess story:

Javanka have denied these allegations of being snots to the Secret Service but as of today, Friday January 15, this story still had legs. Photographers have staked out the Javanka mansion and taken photos of Secret Service men and women trotting to and from the basement apartment. I can’t pull images for you because of a minor but annoying computer problem this morning but it’s true: Jared and Ivanka, who have 7 toilets in their house, won’t let the people, whose job it is to take a bullet for them if necessary, use any of them.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but when Hillary lost the 2016 election, her supporters didn’t threaten all 50 state capitols with violence, and all 50 governors weren’t put on alert for another MAGA insurrection, and the Capitol buildings weren’t fenced off and inundated with armed National Guardsmen to protect it from Democrats with hurt feelings, right?

It’s hard to believe that this is what is needed at the Capitol for Je Biden’s inauguration:

I love that the woman leading this file of guardsmen is holding her Starbucks “Go Cup”.

I’m sure the Guardsmen and women  are  highly  trained  for  combat,  but  most  of  what  they  are  doing  is fighting  boredom:

After these photos were published on-line, the National Guard had to release a plea to stop people from deluging them with donations of blankets and pillows and food at the Capitol. 

I hope they stay bored, for all our sakes.

Post-Insurrection, in a classic case of “closing the barn door after the cows have escaped”, metal detectors were installed at the entrance to the House of Representative and the Senate. Here’s how that’s going: 


Two days after his supporters rioted and killed a police officer due to his inciting unrest with his inflammatory  speech, Trump STILL couldn’t shut up. Here’s the tweet that got him kicked off of Twitter for violating Twitter’s No Inciting Violence rule:

You could say it was the tweet that broke the Twitter’s back:

The rest of Twitter celebrated:


Trump is also blacklisted on Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit, Twitch, Tik Tok, Pinterest, Shopify (he can’t sell his MAGA shit there any more), and Spotify. Spotify? 

The air and sound waves are pure Trump-free zones, and I, for one, am very happy. But some people are miffed:








The final story of the day is about Josh Hawley, the junior Republican senator from Missouri who, before the insurrection, had plans of being the next Trumpian president, but then he did this:



I am forever grateful that there was a photographer who just happened to catch Hawely in the act of being a dickhead. That photographer is Francis Chung, from E & E News. This photo will haunt Hawley for the rest of his life, and I couldn’t be happier.

Here’s Francis Chung’s story:

The crowd was building on the east side of the U. S. Capitol shortly after 12:30 Wednesday afternoon, but Francis Chung didn’t see much that was visually interesting.

Nor did Chung, a photojournalist for E&E News, a D.C.-based group of publications that cover energy and environmental issues, have any inkling that he was about to capture one of the iconic images from the day the Capitol was breeched by rioters.

The group of about 300 was fairly calm, but their energy flared when a motorcade pulled up. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley appeared from behind the cars, headed for a scheduled joint session in the House of Representatives.

The freshman Republican gave a thumbs up, a fist pump, and waved as the crowd cheered. Chung rushed to shoot, knowing that Hawley was a key player in Republican plans to challenge the Electoral College results. Chung took his shot, and went inside a congressional office building to transmit his images to E&E News.

An hour later, when Chung came back to the east side of the Capitol where Hawley had appeared, the barriers around the perimeter of the building had been pulled down and police were no longer trying to stop people from entering the Capitol grounds.

Within that hour, the context of Hawley’s fist bump changed dramatically.

And ever since, things haven’t been looking so good for Josh Hawley.



They even painted a road sign in front of the old court house in St. Louis:


May all the Republicans who love Trump get what they deserve. 




I’m not philosophically against marrying for money, but it makes me happy that when Melanoma divorces Trump he will be so broke that she’ll probably end up owing him alimony.

This is her message:


















That’s it for this week, Dear Readers. I can’t say for sure how scarred, or not, our cities will be after Joe Biden’s inauguration, but it will be A NEW DAY and worth celebrating and LIFE WILL BE GOOD.





Have a great weekend, Dear Ones. 


Read more




This is not the post that I intended to write today. I had, all lined up for your delight, about 20 photos of me watercoloring a kitty for Vicki in Portland (OR) along with  some deep thoughts about life for our get-together today, but then stuff happened in Washington, D.C. Namely, a coup attempt. And that is what I call a buzz kill.

Things were so innocent, in that pre-coup attempt time, last Monday, that I thought this joke by Stephen Colbert would be the highlight of my week:

But, before we get into the political stuff that I thought I would never have to talk about, I urge you to read the following with this soundtrack: 

Click here.

Also, because I have never typed so much about the official police force of the federal property in Washington D.C. I had to look this up:

Capital can refer to uppercase letters, accumulated wealth, or the city that serves as the seat of a country’s or state’s government. A capitol is a building in which the legislative body of government meets. In the United States, the Capitol is a building in Washington in which the US Congress meets.

So, that’s why it’s the Capitol police, not the Capital police. I’m sure we’re all glad to know that.

I’m just going to let rip:






So who are these hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, true Americans who love America and Trump and freedom and democracy? Here, let me introduce you to some of them:




I expect we’ll be meeting a lot ore of them, as they are rounded up, one by one, right?



Unlike Trump, some of the rioters have already been held accountable:And this guy:



But we have to ask ourselves, when it comes to a lawless crowd of traitors rioting in the Capitol, Who Could Have Seen This Coming???

Well, maybe this guy had a premonition:

Or this guy:

Definitely this guy, who, take note,  tweeted this on December 21, 2020:



And now, let’s talk about the Trumper traitors and white supremacists who have infiltrated the Capitol Police, shall we?






Remember  how the Capitol police guarded the Lincoln Memorial (which has zero living persons working there) from Black Lives Matter protestors in June 2020? No? See below:

I wonder what the difference is?





For those who don’t know, Rev. Raphael Warnock (above) is one of the two newly-elected senators from Georgia.




In spite of the cops’ best efforts to keep all the rioters safe and pleased with themselves, four Trumpers did die, and I’m sure they died happy:


BTW, Ashli, who had taxpayer-supported life-time healthcare and military pension *cough Socialism*, also had two active restraining orders out against her.

Here’s the guy on the left (above)  who had high blood pressure and died from “all the excitement” (see below):

His family released this photo — don’t miss the two hand guns tucked into his waistband — because they thought it was a good picture of him. What the fuck is wrong with these people?








Monday should be an interesting day. . .

The sad thing about the Wednesday, January 6 2021 Capitol riots is that they have overshadowed the wondrous events of Tuesday, January 5, 2021:

Thank you, Georgia voters and organizers, for giving us two new Democratic senators and control of the U. S. Congress!!!

Of course, no American election is complete without Trump making shit up about stolen ballots:

And the Georgia senate victory overshadowed the impeachable phone call that Trump made to the Republican Secretary of State of Georgia:

A day later, Trump did just that:

And four hours later, the Washington Post had the tape of the full one-hour criminal phone call:

And Fox News was shocked, shocked! Oh, no, not about the legality of Trump’s phone call, but about how mean Ratffensperger was to our president:

I hope this gets included in the articles of impeachment on Monday:

And even if Trump pardons himself of all federal offenses, there’s always state laws that were broken:








This tweet below is from the Republican candidate for Senate from Delaware, who lost last November, so I guess the House was saved from this kind of idiot:

Let’s all agree that Republicans are all just horrible, horrible people:

That’s it, Dear Ones, that’s my round-up of this week’s news. Breathe, relax all the muscles in your face, go kiss a kitty, and do something nice for yourself. Take that nap after lunch! Light a few candles at bath time! Play you favorite song real loud and dance n the kitchen! Put down that dreadful book that everyone says is so good but you can’t stand (I’m looking at you, The Last Samurai)! 
















Have a great weekend, everyone, Next week I’ll upload all those pictures of me watercoloring a gray tabby and we’ll paint a kitty together and we will exhale, long and lovingly, and give thanks for  Trump’s removal from office and we are five days away from a return to sanity.

That’s my prediction. But you never can tell. Trump could be whisked out of DC by a herd of winged unicorns to the planet Gofuckyourself because that’s how crazy everything is right now.

We’ll see.

Read more

Happy 2021 Everyone! 

On final day of the old year, Top Cat and I went to the local stately manor to celebrate our belated Solstice and keep an eye on the incoming New Year.

The stately manor is Cedarmere, the home of William Cullen Bryant (1794 – 1878), poet, media magnate, namer of our local library and Bryant Park in New York City, founder of the Republican Party in 1860 in order to bankroll his chosen candidate for the presidency Abraham Lincoln, that William Cullen Bryant.

You’ve seen my watercolors of his property in my book Gardens of Awe and Folly:

This is what it looks like as of December 31, 2020 (local time):

Yes, the tree, a magnificent Beech, died about three years ago and was cut down. I got to hug it before it was felled, and say Thank You and Good Bye.

Mr. Bryant dug out the pond to give his front yard some esthetic interest. As you can see, the property is on a cliff above an inlet of the Long Island Sound, which you can see in the distance. 

We snuck in a bottle of champagne and sat on a bench until it got dark, toasting all our hopes for 2021, the Year of the White Ox. 


Our other New Year Eve traditions include more champagne at home, making crab cakes for dinner,and watching Casablanca. With help, this year, from our little kitten Kimmy:

And then, not a moment too soon, 2021 arrived here on the north shore of Long Island and we let the relief wash over us.



Take heart, Dear Ones. This is a map of 2021:

Here in Casa Kimmy, we hoarde all our issues of the New York Times (because we have six cats and four litter boxes) and this past week I happened to notice that we were using some very old stock, from July 10, 2019. Can you guess what we were obsessing about on that Wednesday of July 10, 1019?

Teenage vaping.

It seems like such an innocent time. Is it too much to ask that 2021 be that kind of dull year?

But before we turn all our focus onto ringing in the new, the internet is still wrapping up this past Christmas so here’s what I’ve found for you to remember 2020 by:















This is my favorite one of all, tweeted by The Korean of Ask A Korean:

Well, it’s been another week in Crazy Town. . . 

Thanks to Dear Reader Jeanie in Michigan for this card, by Troubled Birds, which sums up Zen in the Time of Trump.

. . . and I think we can all agree that Josh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri, is the biggest piece of shit west of the Mississippi. I mean, he made me cheer for Walmart — WALMART.

After Hawley goaded all his Twitter followers to boycott Walmart, the company had to apologize and take down the Tweet so you’re lucky that I got it for as proof that somebody at Walmart deserves a huge stonking raise.

In case you don’t know Josh Hawley, he was re-elected this past year even though his opponent discovered that Hawley was using a fake Missouri address in order to qualify as a resident. Twitter too k note, and I learned that having a “cussing mama” was a thing:

I don’t have kids, but I’m a cusser, so I called Hawley’s DC phone line and left a message calling him, twice, a piece of shit and sending him my hopes that he will be arrested for sedition. As I did not use threatening language I do not expect a visit from the FBI, but who knows?

Also making headlines was Luke Letlow, age 41, a Republican who, after holding multiple massless campaign rallies in Louisiana and agitating to keep his state “open for business”, came down with COVID and died on December 29, leaving behind a wife and two small children.

From my No. 1 All Time Favorite work of art, the Bayeux Tapestry (you can look it up).

Have I mentioned how I am crushing on the Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania, John Fetterman?






Lt. Gov Fetterman wants the $3million to give to PA food banks. Aren’t Texans supposed to be manly men? Man up, Danny boy.

And the shit show rolls on:














Here’s the kicker: the medal isn’t even the Peace Prize. The morons at the White House PR dept. can’t even steal correctly. The medal pictured is one that is used to award the prize in the Chemistry.









Have a great first weekend of 2021, everyone. We made it.





One way or another, Things Will Get Better.

Read more