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.

 

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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.

 

DONE:

 

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!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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. 

Amen.

 

 

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. 

 

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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.

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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.

Things.

Will.

Get.

Better.

One way or another, Things Will Get Better.

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The Winter Solstice is usually when I start to celebrate Out With The Old and In With The New, but this year it feels to me that the end of the sad old year and the begging of a sparkling new one full of promise and hope doesn’t take place oh January 1, but on January 20.

Until then, there’s still a lot of 2020 left to endure and mull over.

2020: How It Started:

2020: How It Ended:

This is what happens when you get a kitten in 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m typing this on Friday morning, which is December 25, which is the Chris part of the Winter holiday of ChrisHanuKwanSolstice. Someone once observed that there’s no holiday that extinguishes itself more thoroughly than Christmas, meaning that, on December 26, Christmas is dead, gone, over, raggedy, and out of mind. that’s a shame. I wish there were more than one holiday a year that made such good use of tinsel.

 

 

This one took me a few minutes to get. Then it was funny.

 

 

 

In one day of 53-degre weather, all our snow melted, so today we are very soggy and gray here on the north shore of Long Island.  We got 10.75 inches of snow last week, but Binghampton, in upstate New York near the Pennsylvania border, got 41 inches. This is how that went:

 

 

You know that we have to do a little Trump round up (because until January 20, 2021, we still live in Crazy Town). This is a throw back to Christmas 2018, and it actually made me laugh:

Let’s let Lucy say it, say it one last time:

More proof of Trump assholery:

But wait, there’s more.

Trump’s second round of pardons of 26 crooks, thieves, liars, and seditionists included Charles Kushner, Jared Kushner’s father (and Ivanka Trump’s father-in-law).

What got Charles Kushner in trouble with the Feds was something he did after he discovered his brother-in-law was cooperating with federal authorities. Charles Kushner hatched a scheme for revenge and intimidation.

Kushner hired a prostitute to lure his brother-in-law, William Schulder, the husband of his sister, then arranged to have the encounter in a New Jersey motel room recorded with a hidden camera. 

The plot succeeded, and Mr. Kushner had a videotape sent to the Schulders. Instead of being intimidated, though, the tape enraged the Schulders and they reported it to the feds, who recruited the prostitute to turn on Kushner.

Kushner later pleaded guilty to three counts of tax evasion and making illegal campaign donations. He was put in prison for 14 months by the ex-governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, who was then a federal prosecutor.

“Mr Kushner pled guilty. He admitted the crimes,” Christie told PBS last year. 

“I mean its one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted when I was US attorney. And I was US attorney in New Jersey.”

 

The Republicans have come up with new paradigms to use in their attempts to  overturn the election. You got to have it to them, they do find the best ways to persuade morons:

 

 

 

I’m giving you al this information in case you have to explain this to a Trumper in your life. that is, if you think they can understand the concept of “facts”.

Let’s let Adam Schiff, Democratic representative from California, explain it in is opening arguments for the impeachment of Donald Trump in the Winter of 2019:

File this under “O, The Irony”:

This hot Boomer is Bruce Bartman, age 70, from Delaware County, PA, who registered his dead mother and forged her signature on her mail-in ballot:

I bet he thinks that beard looks good on him, in a Marlboro Man/1970s rocker kind of way.

Two other graciously aging Baby Boomers were also caught casting fraudulent votes in Pennsylvania. One was Robert Lynn, age 67, in Luzerne County, who also voted for his dead mother, and the other is Ralph thurman, age 71, who voted for himself and then put on a cap and sunglasses and tried to vote again in his son’s name. These are the ONLY cases of voter fraud to be substantiated in Pennsylvania.

What the fuck is with these old white guys? 

Oh right. White old guys think they own America:

Really, when do we arrest this piece of shit for sedition?

Well, every now and then, we get a small victory that gives up hope that we are moving, inch by inch, in the right direction: 

It’s true, by the way, what Joe Biden’s incoming deputy chief of staff, Jen O’Malley Dillon, said about Republicans is right. They are fuckers:

In 2021 I resolve to spend less time being angry about America.  

I’m going to spend more time thinking deep thoughts about life and my place in the universe. I’ll be turning 65 in 22 days and I think it’s about time I become mature.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But wait, there’s more.

To get in the mood for the wrapping up of our visit this week, a selection of internet news that I call  Getting In The Mood For The Let Down of the Post-Christmas Season, we need the right background music. So give a listen to this new, moody French song about Winter’s melancholy. ***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*** ***It’s not French, it’s Korean. Sorry for the fib, but people seem more willing to listen to a foreign language if it’s French, so I lured you in with a French fake-out.

Here’s your French content:

Have a great weekend, everyone. The next time we meet it will be 2021 and I hope you all will be massively hungover from the huge party you gave yourself to celebrate the end, at last, of a year we will never forget, and the beginning of a new year you will cherish.

 

 

 

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Winter Storm Gail was thundering into the northeastern coast of America, with dire predictions of 8 – 14 inches to fall on the  north shore of Long Island. So, you know what that means here at Too Many Cats Manor. . .

. . . time to break out the Champagne-O-Meter! (For new readers, the Champagne-O-Meter is the bottle of champagne that I put out in the backyard to use as my gauge, in order to quantify snowfall, because “inches” are bafflingly quaint for those of us who think in “meters”, and “meters” are a threat to our way of life for those of us who think in “inches”, but everyone can be happy thinking in terms of ice-cold, Mother Nature-chilled bubbly.)

The first snow started to fall at 3:38 PM on Wednesday:

This is the little breakfast table on our back patio, as seen through the picture window in the den.

It was already dark an hour later, at 4:30 PM:

This is what it looked like at 7:30 PM:

Right before I went to bed at 9, the rate of snowfall had definitely increased:

I left the Champagne-O-Meter in the good hands of our crack team of weather analysts:

The cats are allowed to use the couches in the den as their scratching posts because that’s what they are going to do ANYWAY.

Yay, we didn’t lose power all night  so we kept heat on all through the blizzard, it was nice and snugly warm when I got up and waited for sunrise at 7:30 AM to document the overnight accumulation:

The feeder was open for Birdie Breakfast Buffet:

We declared a Snow Day, and Top Cat took a day off from his essential work in Manhattan, I decided to read a book instead of doing a 5-mile run, we both dipped into our stash of hand-made dark chocolates instead of food for lunch, and the cats wondered, “How is a Snow Day different from every other Thursday in Cat Land?”

What I mean is, all they do is sleep and eat any way.

The snow stopped at 11:35 AM.

Official Champagne-O-Meter accumulation: 10.75 inches. (273 millimeters.)

Last night Top Cat and I turned off all the lights and watched the snow fall, he with his bourbon and I with my vodka and cream soda (a drink I call the Philadelphia South Paw because Philadelphians drink more cream soda than anyone else in America and I’m left handed) — is there anything more quietly thrilling than the first big snow of the year?  Top Cat and I keep putting off leaving Long Island for more age-appropriate locales (somewhere warmer, or closer to his grown children), because we would hate to miss this, the blustery and dramatic arrival of the majestic fourth season of the year.

Which makes for the perfect segue to the annual Winter festival that I call

ChrisHanuKwanSolstice!

I haven’t done this in a couple of years, so let’s take a wander through my back pages. He’s a catalogue of the designs of the cards that I send out in honor of this year-end holiday:

I was a brand new author/watercolor-illustrator-in-waiting when I sent out my first Winter Holiday card in 2007. It was very corny and cutest, as is to be expected by a baby watercolor illustrator:

The next year I ditched the cliche Xmas trimmings and made a catalogue of everything that makes a cold Winter day such a delight for body and soul:

In 2009 my theme was “Winter on My Beautiful Long Island Sound”:

I don’t know exactly what year this was (if I still have the original art work I haven’t seen it since The Good Wife was still on TV), but I used an illustration from a children’s book from the 1940s as inspiration in style, and made a portrait of me, watched by my cats, howling at the moon like a pagan, and a bookcase loaded with all my favorite books :

This one, below, that I painted scenes from upstate New York, c. 2011, was the first time I used my own name for the Holiday: ChrisHanuKwanSolstice.  The “Solstice” part of this holiday is the only one that I actually celebrate, so in these vignettes I wanted to show Light in Winter in Oneida County:

In 2014, the year that my one and only dog Boogie Girl died, I made this picture of her and my first best cat, Woody Robinson, together in the light of Heaven:

The more I think about ChrisHanuKwanSolstice, the more I want to show how, through the return of the light on the Winter Solstice, an amazing light, seen or intuited, illuminates the deepest and darkest days of Winter:

In 2017, I had been playing with paper sculptures that year, so I made a 3-D version of that rainbow-in-the-forest idea:

Last year’s card was all about my on-going semi-obsession with cutting up books and making castles out of them. For the lights of Solstice I used real, actual little fairy lights in the background (it took me ages to figure out how to do that in a photograph):

This year I was back to my theme of Light in The Forest. I like to use trees because  Solstice, called Yule by us Northern Hemispheric tree-hugging pagans, is when the evergreens are worshipped for being green in the depths of  our Winter. That’s where the Xmas tree and mistletoe traditions come from, but I’m not going to go on about that because everybody probably already knows about that.

This year I used a new media for my cards. Glitter.

I had envisioned a concept for this year’s card, of a other-worldly-colored CHKS beyond-evegreen tree  shining in the midst of a bluesy Winter forest. I was going to use only the power of watercolor to make my card dazzling, but then I found out that my darling Elmer’s makes glitter glue

Glitter Glue.

So, I squeezed a drop of glitter glue onto each leaf and, with a paintbrush, I brushed the glue evenly over each tiny frond. I let dry overnight, and voila:

Not very glittery in photographs.

Happy ChrisHanuKwanSolstice, everyone.

Best Wishes that

2020 ChrisHanuKwanSolstice

brings Joy, Serenity, and Awe

to all you become in 2021.

 

 


There are a few current events on my mind this week, so let’s start with the one that makes me the happiest:

Am I the only one who thinks Hillary would make a great Attorney General? You know, the person in charge of seeking justice for the American people v. Trump and all his cronies?

As you know, the control of Congress, and with that the success of the Biden administration, depends on Democrats winning the two run-off elections for senator in the state of Georgia on January 5. Early voting has already started and citizens are turning out in record numbers — 168,000 on the first day. This has Republicans worried.

And this:

Remember Rand Paul (above), the Republican senator from Kentucky, who is also a “doctor”. We’ll catch up with him again later.

I saw this (below) and I wondered, If these are the guys we’re fighting against, do we need to be afraid?

Or should we be very afraid?

The other dust up this week was over a stupid Op-Ed printed in the Wall Street Journal, written by an 83-year old Republican trying to be relevant, mocking Jill Biden for using the honorific “doctor”. Jill Biden has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Delaware.

This is the current First Lady:

 

And this is our First-Lady-elect:

 

And here’s the kind of “doctor” that the Republicans don’t have a problem with:

Let’s have a side-by-side comparison:

So, yeah. . . 

And this ends our political portion of today’s post because

Anyway, it’s a special week in the life of the world. It doesn’t matter what you celebrate, Dear Ones, we’re all going to have a celestial Solstice on Monday (Winter Solstice in the Northen Hemisphere, Summer Solstice in the Southern half of the orb, and for you in Kuala Lumpur, Nairobi, Kinshasa, Bogota, Singapore, Cali, Quito; well, it’s just another day in December on the equator).

Have a Happy ChrisHanuKwanSolstice everyone!

Enjoy these photos of Cats Being Jerks and celebrate the light and laughter (oh god, that’s so corny). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh sweet Jesus, it’s been an insane week. But we’ll get to that in a bit.

The big news in here in Casa Kitty  is that I have replaced our 16-year old cheese grater with a spiffy new model from Bed Bath & Beyond. It’s bright and shiny and twice as big as the runty model we’ve been using since we got married, and Top Cat and I are are both very pleased with this upgrade. Top Cat grated some lemon zest on it and pronounced it “really nice!” and I am eagerly awaiting my turn at it when I get to use it to shred mozzarella for our Friday Pizza & Netflix Night.

Sometimes the internet (see above) makes you take a long hard look at yourself. I used to be the girl who hitch hiked across state lines to California on weekends so I could hang out with my high school friend’s sister’s Hells Angel boyfriend in Oakland, who always had access to new and exotic kinds of drugs. Thank you, Lynelle’s’s sister’s boyfriend for that Purple Haze that kept me high for two days when I saw Led Zeppelin at Golden Gate Park in 1973.

Now, 47 years later, I get my thrills from a new cheese grater. I did not see this coming.

The  other exciting thing that happened recently was I crossed a new frontier in Pet Portrait painting. It’s all explained below.

I got a request for a Pet Portrait from someone who is rather special to Top Cat and me, so of course I said, “Sure!”

Then I got the photo:

Oh, shit.  It’s a white dog.

I’m OK doing black dogs:

The darling Sophie!

But a WHITE dog?

How do you paint a WHITE dog? On WHITE paper?

That, Dear Readers, is the question.

I always plot my paintings before I dip a brush into paint, so I studied this image of Piper (the subject)  and, since she doesn’t have any distinguishing markings (she’s ALL WHITE) I decided to start with the black smudges that give her face some personality, and make her nose so boopable. Getting that right was going to be crucial to getting her expression right:

 

 

The shape of her pupils, and the direction of her gaze, was the other key to getting her face right. I re-drew them carefully:

Although Piper is a rather pink little girl (go ahead, you can check the reference photo), I prefer to use blue to make shadows here:

 

Her eyes are very dark brown. . . 

. . . and  her pupils are very large and very black:

I had no choice but to use my white acrylic paint to brush in some furry bits around her eyes and nose:

And I had to pencil in some of her furry texture:

 

Since Piper is a WHITE dog, and I’m not using up a whole lot of paint to do her, I thought I’d step up my game and give her a body for this portrait. I went to my handy Dog Encyclopedia and looked up Bichon Frise, but all the Bichons in there were adorable fluffy, and our Piper is not. 

So I found a French Bulldog whose body looked to be similar, and practiced doing paws. . .

. . .  and drew a behind behind Piper’s punim:

Shading with blue:

Next, I layered on the acrylic paint (because I want it to look like I worked hard on this):

Making little spikes for fur — acrylic paint is fun because you can add texture like this:

 

DONE.

The whole time I painted Piper, I got to concentrate on cute little doggos and shades of blue that weren’t too blue and making sure I cleaned all the acrylic paint our of my favorite brushes…

…I did not give Fuck Face (you know who) a single passing thought. 

But comes a time you have to leave your bubble and cope with the madness that is Donald Trump, so let’s get into it, shall we?

 

 

 

We really should have seen it coming. Trump’s whines about the 2020 election being “rigged” is classic Donald Trump.

In 2012, he whined about Scotland and the Scottish:

In 2015, he whined about the entertainment industry:

In 2016, he whined about the Republican primaries:

Trump’s whines would be amusing if he didn’t have the power of being president. This week, he’s using his power to urge Republicans to commit treason:

 

 

 

The final stop on the Trump Crazy Train has always been the Supreme Court. Trump seems to think that all he has to do is ask SCOTUS, stacked with three on his nominees, to void the election results in states that he lost and bippity-bobbity-boo, he’s president for four ore years.

There are two SCOTUS cases that he’s riled up his wing-nut chicken-shit allies into submitting to the court. The first, filed by a Republican State Senator from Pennsylvania (Mike Kelly) to nullify the election returns in PA. This is how that went:

 

Here is the one-sentence dismissal:

The reason that Justice Alito (who is a prick) wrote the dismissal is because he’s the SCOTUS justice in charge of emergency matters coming from Pennsylvania. 

I KNOW!! Me neither! I did not know that SCOTUS divvies up the United States like that!  If I had gone to law school, maybe I would have understood the inner working of SCOTUS better, but I’m not a lawyer, so I need someone to interpret Alito’s terse dismissal:

Since Trump and his moron followers are whining about Fox TV being too liberal, they now gather around a social network app called Parler to discuss the latest fashions in tin foil hats, and this is how they are reacting to this defeat:

*Sigh*

The second lawsuit before the Supreme Court comes from the attorney general of Texas, a sleaze ball by the name of Ken Paxton:

 

The Supreme Court has not agreed to hear the case; on Dec. 8, the court merely ordered Pennsylvania and the other states named in the Texas suit — Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia — to respond by Dec. 10. As I am typing this on the morning of Dec. 11, there has not been any news regarding how definitively SCOTUS is going to ram this pile of shit up Ken Paxton’s ass.

So now we have Red states (Republican), Blue states (Democratic), and Brown states (Republican and full of shit — BTW, Texas should be Brown on this map, but I guess the intent is to show the Red states that are piling on with Texas in this ludicrous lawsuit. 

Here’s a mother map of America that Canada won’t like (sorry, Canada), but it gives me comfort:

Anyhoo, here is my refund up on the current status of Texas’s act of sedition:

Maryland’s Democratic Attorney General is Brian Frosh, and this is how he told Ken Paxton to fuck off:

This is from the Republican governor and the Republican governor-elect from Arizona:

And from Idaho, the most Republican state in the union (84% of its elected officials are GOP), there’s this:

And then this happened, of course:

Before we leave the Supreme Court today, let’s ponder this:

If you can stand more crazy, stay tuned.

If you are ready to bail, skip down to the Covid section:

 

 

 

Let’s now catch up on how we’re doing, pandemic-wise:

 

 

 

This obituary was written by Marvin J. Farr’s son:

In case you’re wondering about Marvin J. Farr’s home state of Kansas:

Under an executive order issued by Gov. Laura Kelly in July and reissued in November, Kansans over the age of 5 must wear masks in indoor public settings and outdoors when unable to stay 6 feet apart from people from other households. A state law passed in June allows counties to opt out of the mandate.

 

This is so true. I love Mexican food so much that I keep  a photograph of my favorite cheese enchiladas from my favorite Mexican restaurant, Little Mexico, on my desktop so that when I am down in the dumps I call pull it up and think happy thoughts upon it.

 

 

 

Except, by this week there was a new statistic:

To be exact, 3,053 people died of Covid last week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Stay safe! Next week is my annual ChrisHanuKwanSolstice post, wherein we get all druidical and pagan and ritualistic and dress up in our best witching gear and compare cheese graters. 

You might want to cast a few spells, make some good trouble. You have my permission. 

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I forgot Friday last week. The whole week was out of whack because of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, which made me think that Monday was Wednesday and Wednesday was the first day of the weekend and then the real weekend came around and I remembered that Friday was yesterday, and I forgot to launch my blog post.

But by then I was in full magical realism/Northern Exposure mode, exploring the way myth, fantasy, and Alaska inform my daily life as is always the case with me in my post-white-wine blow-out mood, and I said to myself, “Sometimes, Ed, you just gotta do something bad, just to know you’re alive.”

So I apologize for skipping last week’s get-together. That means that this week’s round up of all the horror and whimsy  that is life on this planet (focus on the north shore of Long Island) will be extra long, organized into four parts: Reasons to be Happy, Current Horrendous Events, Life in the Pandemic Surrounded by CovIdiots, and Words to Live By While the Wine Chills.

P.S. to Jeanie, Steve, and Citizen Reader: look for the Easter Eggs just for you.

But first, let’s get in the mood with some 2020 feels:

 

This one is late, but still funny:

 

Last month I packed an overnight bag and ample refreshments and I dialed the phone humber of the “Help” line of the company that “hosts” this blog to discuss an issue that many of you Dear Readers have brought to my attention, namely, that the Comments that you all so kindly write to me don’t show in the public Comments section. After a predictably lengthy wait, and a predictably lengthy chat, along with a predictable fee of $49.99, I was able to secure a technician who updated some widgets and eliminated a few gizmos and added several new doodads and voila: the Comments appeared. 

Supposedly. Let me know if this is true. 

I was also advised that the version of WordPress that I am working on is almost obsolete so, although I have paid for this blog to be continued until 2022, all this might disappear, one day, all on its own unless I get new hardware soon and, well, you might as well shit on a cracker and call it Sharon before I’ll do that. I do not want to even think about getting a new computer because  I just got this one in 2012 and I have more fun things to do than listen to a sales guy tell me about Core i5 chips, hybrid drives, 1920 x 1080 dis, etc. I also dread having to sit down and upload stuff on a new computer; cleaning up my email in-box, which is only a matter of repetitively clicking my mouse, already feels like hard labor and I’m not in the mood. 

Reasons To Be Happy: When I say fun things, I mean I might even head out to Manhattan’s Upper West Side and go owl watching. There’s a big story in New York City about a barred owl that has been spotted in Central Park, and people are going crazy for this bird. Here’s what it looks like when the owl wakes up at dusk and prepares to go hunting:

Photo credit: J. Alex Tarquino.

Photo credit: J. Alex Tarquino.

I think that’s kind of sweet. People come out in real life when they could be watching TV…good for them.

Did you all feel the culture shift last week? Did you feel the shudder of the enormous tilt in civilization as we know it?

Why do I ask? Because at 1:45 PM on November 24, 2020, a group of Korean artists were nominated for a Grammy in Best Pop Duo/Group Category, along with the usual [western,main stream] suspects (Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift):

While this  explosion of the cultural axis might have gone unnoticed in your house (I mean, the Grammies were irrelevant to me, until just this year), it was such a big story in South Korea that it was covered in real time on TV:

But wait, that’s not all. 

The next week, BTS debuted their latest single, Life Goes On, at No. 1 on Billboard, their third No. 1 in three months, and the first No. 1 in the Korean language

A Korean language song topping the Billboard Hot 100 might not be earth-shattering news to you, or make you and your friends jump and scream and cry, but it was major news in South Korea:

All the TV channels covered the story:

 

 

 

Over the past three decades South Korea has spent a lot of money promoting their popular culture for export as a “soft power” move to expand its economy and its political influence in the world, so this was by far the biggest coup for the Korean Wave since it began as a ripple in 1992. What France was to the 18th-century, Korea will be to the 21st-century. There might even be a legendary ex-pat “Lost Generation” story about Americans in Korea being lived over there right now; I swear that if I were in my 20s, I’d be lighting out for Seoul tomorrow.

But if BTS isn’t on your radar yet as this generation’s Beatles, then maybe you’ll take the word of an actual Beatle, that these guys are The Real Thing (transcript of an interview on Smartness podcast hosted by Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes):

We live in terrible, crazy, awful times here in the U S of A, and it’s these seven Koreans who keep me feeling less suicidal about the future.

And here is where we head into the Current Horrendous Events portion of this blog.

Things are so deranged here that it hardly made a ripple when a recently pardoned general began urging the president to suspend the constitution, declare martial law, and have the military supervise a new election. . . 

. . .  because that president that Flynn was cajoling into sedition was himself busy, entertaining/horrifying us with a 46-minute rambling, bat-shit crazy address to the American people, holding up bits of paper to “prove” the nutty conspiracy theories of a stolen election that have, so far, been shot down in 41 seperate court rulings.

Oh, lord, it’s been one of those weeks, again.

Roll the film, Jimmy:

 

Let’s talk about the hearing that Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliana, held in Michigan re: voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential election. You owe it to yourselves to watch the tape, because the witnesses were truly magnificent.

Magnificent piles of hot, steaming horseshit:

But is it less racist if the witness starts her “testimony” by saying “Some people think all Indian-Americans look alike [the witness is Indian-American], but I think Chinese all look alike.”? The answer is, No, No, Hell no.

When this lady started talking, it instantly became Must See TV:
She was AWESOME!!

And, to follow up on the Mike Flynn controversy:

Raise your hand if you think EVERY person in the Trump administration should be investigated and brought up on charges.

Some people are getting a jump on it:

But let’s not hold our breath:

 

47 more days. That’s all we have to endure: 47 more days.

 

 

 

 

 

These are real, and they are being posted all around Manhattan:

 

 

 

 

This one is for Citizen Reader:

 

 

 

 

As the wing-nuts march around with their “Stop the Steal” signs in support of their crack-pot theories of voter fraud, the resistance is going with “Stop the Stupid”.

 

File this one under: “Yep, this is about what I expect of Trump Christians”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you need another reason to love Scotland? Try this:

The headline: Political campaigners lit up Donald Trump’s Ayrshire golf course with “LOSER” to remind the outgoing president he lost the election.”

And here’s another reason to love Paris:

 

 

 

 

While Fox News was talking about voter fraud in Wisconsin, they did this (for you, Jeanie):

Let us now check out the latest happenings in the CovIdiot Saga:

 

 

 

 

On November 26,  Alice Willow bragged about her love of Jesus on Twitter. . .

. . . but  days later she wasn’t all that “Ride or Die” about it:

People on Twitter, a platform noted for expressing compassion, responded with sympathy. Here’s a sample:

 

 

 

Within a day, Alice Willow closed her Twitter account. I wish her the best, because I’m a “people person”, and I hope that her wish to die for her religion comes true. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great weekend, everyone. Next week I have another Pet Portrait to paint with you, and a photo essay called Cats Being Jerks, and more of the feel-good homey musings and gentle introspections that make this blog (and its author) such a kindly, meditative, and reverential presence on your Friday scrollings.

 

 

 

I don’t really understand this joke, but it still made me laugh.

 

 

 

 

And, lastly, since I don’t say Fuck Trump at the end of this any more because he is not worth the effort except when it comes time to rally for indictments, this is for Steve and Olga in London:

To Catch The Squirrel, You Must Be The Squirrel.

 

All I have to say is, “Amen”.

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Hello Dear Readers! Yes, I still enjoy the “WTF 2020” memes, but today I am not going to load you up with the usual political musings.

Sure, Trump and his spawn are still shitbags, and Rudy Giuliani is, literally, a walking, talking, oozing pustule and crazy as an outhouse rat, and Emily Murphy  should be in prison, and the rest of the Republicans are laying down as many land mines as they can to keep Joe Biden in a tizzy for the next 4 years. . . but I still get up every morning and walk into my kitchen for my morning tea and I see this:  

And, OK, the guys who are planing that march in Atlanta tomorrow to support Trump’s theft of their 16 electoral votes are dangerously delusional, but they made a poster that shows Georgia in blue, and, also, spelled “Georgia” wrong:

So, for today, I’m feeling confident that the people who are in charge of Operation Destroy American Democracy are idiots, and that I can safely take a week off from the unending shit show. 

I’m celebrating this Friday because Steve, the handsome tuxedo Manx who lives on our front stoop, came home today after going on walk-about for five weeks. I’m celebrating this Friday because my Korean husbands (BTS) have a new music video out today and global ARMY are coordinating to get 100 million views in 24 hours (be  dear and click onto this link and be counted and, BTW, how much do you want to be part of that pajama party??). I’m celebrating this Friday because it’s been a gorgeous Fall here on the north shore of Long Island and I want to take the time to savor it. I want to be like Taffy, thinking deep thoughts on sequential mornings, sitting under the Japanese Dogwood tree on the kitchen patio like a cute, fluffy buddha:

 

 

 

 

 

I just did a quick calculation and, during this pandemic, I have run about 765.5 miles, during 225 hours, on the streets in my neighborhood since lockdown in March. I know these roads quite well, and have become quite fond of them. They feel as if they are as much a part of me as my own right hand, which is my second-favorite hand as I am left handed, but we’re still close.

The best times were those early Summer mornings when there were no cars or people about and there was perfume in the air, but Fall has its charms here in Nassau County. This is my starting point on a typical November afternoon:

This is the same starting point a few days later, on a rainy and misty morning:

After learning that Trump played The Village People’s YMCA at the end of his desperate rallies for voters in the swing states, I reclaimed it for the forces of good and added the song to the top of all the playlists I listen to while I run — I have never payed much attention to the lyric before, and it is very WIERD — but this is where I am by the time the People sing “I felt the whole world was so jive”:

Are you old enough to remember when “jive” was a thing?

What a difference a few days make…this is the same road exactly 4 days later:

This (below) was taken on Nov. 8:

All those trees are bare now. Fall really is the most fleeting season, all the more reason to catch it while you can.

 

 

 

Top Cat has hunted and gathered for our two-person Thanksgiving this year, strangely, by getting us  a 22-pound turkey. That’s a lot of turkey for a pandemic holiday, just saying.

The other holiday that is on my mind is ChrisHanuKwanSolstice. I just finished making my holiday card, a special 2020-themed message that will be going out in optimism and celebration of the return of the light in our lives. In more ways than one.

If you would like to be on my mailing list, send me a note with your address to vivianswift at yahoo dot com. (All Stromness Rock hosts are automatically on the list whether they like it or not.)

Did you know that “Good Riddance 2020” cards are a thing this year?

Mine is not like that. I’m never on trend.

Also a “thing” this year. . . 

 

 

You KNOW that I, for one, will be sending Season’s Greetings to President Joe c/o 1600 PA Ave this year.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Try to spend at least one Trump-free day by doing something stupid, like feeling hopeful for the future of our planet and humankind in spite of all the evidence that tells us that we are, in fact, doomed. To be happy, these days, is a very transgressive act, and if I know you, Dear Reader, you like to rock the boat. Go out there and be joyful.

See you next Friday, with the usual outrage.

XXOO

 

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